First FA-50 Light Fighter for Poland Rolled Out in Korea Aerospace Facility

  • Bureau
  • 12:35 PM, June 7, 2023
  • 1001
First FA-50 Light Fighter for Poland Rolled Out in Korea Aerospace Facility
FA-50 light attack aircraft @Poland MoD

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) rolled out first of 48 FA-50GF Fighting Eagle jets built for Poland on June 7 at its factory in South Korea’s Sacheon.

Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak took part in the official roll-out ceremony.

A contract for 48 FA-50s, said to be worth around $3 billion, was signed in September 2022. Aside of jets, South Korea has agreed to transfer FA-50 operational know-how to the Polish Air Force, and will conduct education and training programs.

Following flight tests through next month, KAI plans to supply 12 FA-50GF jets by the end of this year. GF stands for the “gap filler” meant to replace Polish Air Force’s aging fleet with the group of the new aircraft.

“In September last year in Mińsk Mazowiecki, Poland, I had the pleasure and honor to approve the contract for the supply of FA-50 light combat aircraft. The first units are already being delivered to Poland. This is an extremely important moment for the Air Force,” Błaszczak said during his visit to South Korea.

He added, “We dispose of post-Soviet aircraft, and from now on, Polish Air Force will only use F-16 and FA-50 aircraft, and soon also F-35.”

First FA-50 Light Fighter for Poland Rolled Out in Korea Aerospace Facility
FA-50 light attack aircraft @Poland MoD

Polish pilots have completed training on FA-50 operation in South Korea. Poland and KAI are promoting the establishment of an MRO center and an international flight training school capable of comprehensive maintenance of the FA-50 in the mid- to long-term. “We currently negotiate a service center construction in Poland, based on cooperation between KAI and the Polish Armaments Group. It will enable us to train pilots using own training base and service the FA-50s in Poland. The purchase of the FA-50 is part of a larger project.”

Poland and South Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), under which the Joint Korean-Polish Committee (JKPC) on Cooperation in the Fields of Defense and Defense Industry will be established. After the signing of the memorandum, the first meeting of the Polish-Korean Council was held, chaired by the defense ministers of Poland and South Korea. Ultimately, the Council will consist of 6 working committees, and their main task will be to strengthen military, educational and R&D cooperation.

“We have appointed a committee, consisting of 6 teams. This is a body fashioned after similar US-Korean bodies. It is to ascertain constant contact allowing to exchange our comments on cooperation. We want follow the model of Korean-American cooperation in Polish-American cooperation as well as with our Korean partner,” Błaszczak said during third day of his visit to South Korea.

The defense ministers of both countries also observed live fire training with the use of the K239 Chunmoo rocket artillery system and the K9 self-propelled howitzer.

“Korean equipment is very modern and compatible with American equipment. We've seen how well FA-50 work together with the F-16 and F-35. We've seen that the K2 and K9 work great with American equipment. This is what we want, this is our goal in Poland,” the minister stated further.

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