MANILA, -- In line with ongoing efforts to make the country's FA-50PH "Fighting Eagle" light-interim fighter aircraft combat ready, the Department of National Defense (DND) is allocating the sum of PhP106,138,800 for the acquisition of 93,600 rounds of 20mm ammunition.
The money will be sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act Trust Fund, the bid bulletin from the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System said.
These will be used to arm the FA-50PH's modified A50 gun system.
The weapon will be utilized in close-quarter fighting and strafing missions.
Pre-bid conference is set on Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. at the DND Bidding and Awards Committee Conference Room, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Winning bidders are required to deliver the items within 360 calendar days.
Two of the country's first FA-50PH jet aircraft arrived at Clark Air Base, Angeles City, Pampanga last Nov. 28.
The two aircraft are part of the 12-plane order from the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) which amounted to PhP18.9 billion.
The F/A-50 (the other designation for the FA-50PH) is capable of being fitted with air-to-air missiles, including the AIM-9 "Sidewinder" air-to-air and heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles.
It will act as the country's interim fighter until the Philippines gets enough experience of operating fast jet assets and money to fund the acquisition of more capable fighter aircraft.
Incidentally, the F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 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 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 Korean Aerospace Industries.
The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and an afterburner.
Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with afterburner.
The Philippine Air Force newly-arrived and commissioned South Korean-made FA-50PH “Fighting Eagle” lift-interim fighter aircraft armed with a variant of the American AIM-9 “Sidewinder” heat-seeking missile.