The Philippines is now on track to operate again supersonic jet aircraft as the "term of reference" (TOR) for the F/A-50 "Golden Eagle" is now in the works. "Procurement for the F/A-50 will be on a government-to-government basis," the Department of National Defense (DND) observer stressed.
The order came from the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB), an attached agency of the Department of Budget and Management.The DND observer declined to comment on when the TOR will be completed but stressed that it will be done within the year.But he expressed confidence that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be flying the F/A-50 within two years time.
The last supersonic planes operated by the country was the Northrop F-5 "Freedom Fighter" which was decommissioned due to lack of parts and air frame aging sometime in 2005.The TOR describes the purpose and structure of a project, committee, meeting and negotiation.It also defines the vision, objectives, scope and deliverables (i.e. what has to be achieved); stakeholders, roles and responsibilities (i.e. who will take part in it); resource, financial and quality plans (i.e. how it will be achieved); work breakdown structure and schedule (i.e. when it will be achieved) and includes success factors/risks and restraints.
The Philippines is in the market for 12 supersonic trainer aircraft which can double as interim fighter and attack planes for the PAF. It has allocated P18 billion for this program.The GPPB earlier gave the DND the "green-light" to start pre-negotiations with the South Korean government for 12 F/A 50 aircraft last January.
The plane is manufactured by the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). The F/A-50 is also known as the TA-50.The F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 "Fighting Falcon", and they have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and the range of weapons.
KAI's previous engineering experience in license-producing the KF-16 was a starting point for the development of the F/A-50.The aircraft can carry two pilots in tandem seating. The high-mounted canopy developed by Hankuk Fiber is applied with stretched acrylic, providing the pilots with good visibility and has been tested to offer the canopy with ballistic protection against four-pound objects impacting at 400 knots.
The altitude limit is 14,600 meters (48,000 feet), and airframe is designed to last 8,000 hours of service.There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters (701 US gallons), five in the fuselage and two in the wings.An additional 1,710 liters (452 US gallons) of fuel can be carried in the three external fuel tanks.Trainer variants have a paint scheme of white and red, and aerobatic variants white, black, and yellow.The F/A-50 "Golden Eagle" uses a single General Electric F404-102 turbofan engine license-produced by Samsung Techwin, upgraded with a full authority digital engine control system jointly developed by General Electric and KAI.The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and an afterburner.The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.4-1.5.Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with afterburner.