Aerial Warfare

Korea Aerospace Industries Delivers 12 FA-50 Block 10 Light Combat Aircraft to Poland

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Korea Aerospace Industries Delivers 12 FA-50 Block 10 Light Combat Aircraft to Poland

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Korea Aerospace Industries Delivers 12 FA-50 Block 10 Light Combat Aircraft to Poland
Korea Aerospace Industries Delivers 12 FA-50 Block 10 Light Combat Aircraft to Poland

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has completed the delivery of a dozen FA-50 Block 10 light combat aircraft to the Polish Armed Forces. This milestone not only marks the culmination of a substantial contract but also signifies a pivotal upgrade in the Polish Air Force’s capabilities, particularly following the transfer of Soviet-era MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine. The fulfillment of the contract signed in September 2022 between Poland’s Ministry of Defence and KAI, valued at USD 705 million, solidifies a comprehensive package deal. Beyond the delivery of 12 FA-50 Block 10 jets by the end of 2023, the agreement encompassed crucial elements such as training, logistics, and technical support. These recently acquired FA-50 Block 10 jets will predominantly serve training purposes within the Polish Air Force. However, it’s noteworthy that Poland hasn’t procured air-to-air weaponry for these jets, and their inventory of air-to-ground weapons remains somewhat restricted.

Looking ahead, the second contract inked in September 2023 entails a more extensive acquisition plan. This deal involves the delivery of 36 FA-50 Block 20 aircraft, locally designated as “FA-50PL,” scheduled between 2025 and 2028. These advanced jets are set to be equipped with AESA radar and are earmarked for integration with AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. This significant contract is estimated at a staggering USD 2.3 billion, a testament to Poland’s commitment to advancing its aerial defense capabilities. In line with the forthcoming upgrades, Poland’s Armament Agency has announced plans to outfit the 36 FA-50 Block 20 aircraft with Raytheon’s PhantomStrike radar, further enhancing their surveillance and combat capabilities.

FA-50 Block 10 Light Combat Aircraft
KAI FA-50 Block 10 Light Combat Aircraft (Photo by Korea Aerospace Industries).

Furthermore, in a bid to maintain a robust aerial defense stance, Poland’s Ministry of Defence has strategized to elevate the initial 12 FA-50 Block 10 aircraft, acquired under the first contract, to the FA-50PL standard. This holistic modernization approach aligns with Poland’s overarching strategy to bolster its air defense capabilities, ensuring a steadfast and formidable presence in the skies. Along with the fighter deal, KAI is expected to help establish a servicing center for them in Poland in cooperation with Polish defense industries by 2026.The successful delivery and future plans underscore Poland’s steadfast commitment to fortifying its national defense infrastructure, fostering collaborations with leading aerospace entities like KAI, and maintaining readiness in an ever-evolving global security landscape.

The FA-50 is a light combat aircraft manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). It is a light combat version of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft. The FA-50 version has a three-barrel cannon version of the M61 Vulcan mounted internally behind the cockpit, which fires linkless 20 mm ammunition. Wingtip rails can accommodate the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, and a variety of additional weapons can be mounted on underwing hardpoints. Compatible air-to-surface weapons include the AGM-65 Maverick missile, Hydra 70 and LOGIR rocket launchers, CBU-58 and Mk-20 cluster bombs, and Mk-82, ?83, and ?84 general-purpose bombs. The FA-50 can be externally fitted with Rafael’s Sky Shield or LIG Nex1’s ALQ-200K ECM pods, SPICE multifunctional guidance kits,JDAM/JDAM-ER, Sniper or LITENING targeting pods, AIM-120 missiles and Condor 2 reconnaissance pods to further improve the fighter’s electronic warfare, reconnaissance, and targeting capabilities.

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