Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said the Department of National Defense (DND) has begun negotiations with the Korean Aerospace Industry (KAI) while it is waiting for Malacañang's final approval of the sales agreement. It will be a government-to-government procurement that requires multi-year obligational authority from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
"Once we get confirmation of the sales agreement and once we get the multi-year obligational authority from DBM, we can start formal negotiations and we can schedule the delivery of at least 4 fighter jets," Manalo told reporters.
"We are negotiating for the immediate delivery of a certain number out of the 12 we are going to procure. We are hoping we can get at least four so our pilots can start their training," Manalo added.
The Philippines retired the last of its US-designed F-5 fighters in 2005 and lacks air defense.
The Philippine Air Force FA-50PH's Fighting Eagle Surface Attack Aircraft (SAA) / Lead-In Fighter trainer (LIFT) maiden flight took place on 19 June 2015 after the Philippines has signed a contract for 12 KAI FA-50 fighter aircraft in March last year.