Defence Security Asia
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“Six RMAF Officers Arrive in South Korea for FA-50 Block 20 Program”

During the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in May, Malaysia’s Defence Ministry and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed an agreement for the acquisition of 18 FA-50 light combat aircraft for the RMAF, estimated at RM4 billion.The RMAF will acquire the latest variant of the aircraft, the FA-50 Block 20.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — A group of six Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) personnel have arrived in Seoul, South Korea, on November 29th to commence the FA-50M program with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).

The primary responsibility of the RMAF personnel is to monitor the progress of the acquisition of 18 FA-50M light combat aircraft from KAI, according to an undisclosed source.

The group of RMAF officers is led by a Colonel.

In a recent social media post by the RMAF account late October, the issue of dispatching a group of RMAF officers to South Korea was discussed during a meeting between RMAF Chief General Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan and General Jung Sanghwa, Chief of Staff of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF CoS).

“During this meeting, the discussions revolved around the strategic defense cooperation between the RMAF and ROKAF, particularly involving the Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) on the FA-50 aircraft towards realizing the acquisition of FA-50 aircraft for the RMAF.”

FA-50
(File picture)

 

The social media statement further highlighted, “The RMAF has planned the deployment of the first group of six (6) officers for the FLIT-LCA FA-50 aircraft project to South Korea, scheduled for November 2023.

“Additionally, discussions took place regarding the plans for bilateral cooperation between the air forces of the RMAF and ROKAF.”

The RMAF chief attended the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2023 (Seoul ADEX 2023) in South Korea from October 16th to 22nd, 2023.

During the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in May, Malaysia’s Defence Ministry and KAI signed an agreement for the acquisition of 18 FA-50 light combat aircraft for the RMAF, estimated at RM4 billion.

The RMAF will acquire the latest variant of the aircraft, the FA-50 Block 20.

FA-50
FA-50

 

This variant, chosen by both the RMAF and the Polish Air Force, boasts advanced capabilities compared to other versions, including those used by the ROKAF.

Only the RMAF and the Polish Air Force have opted for the FA-50 Block 20 variant.

 Poland signed an agreement with KAI the previous year to purchase 48 FA-50 aircraft.

As reported by Defence Security Asia, the FA-50 Block 20 aircraft destined for Malaysia and Poland will be equipped with the Raytheon-developed AESA “PhantomStrike” radar, as well as the “Chobham Air-to-Air Refuelling System” and “Sniper” Advanced Targeting Pod.

FA-50
RMAF Chief General Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan held a meeting with General Jung Sanghwa, Chief of Staff of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF CoS) in Seoul last October (RMAF)

 

These features distinguish it from other T-50/FA-50 variants used by the ROKAF and air forces of Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Furthermore, information confirms that the FA-50 Block 20 offered to the RMAF will be equipped with a U/VHF radio system nearly identical to the latest F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft.

Additionally, it will feature “Link 16 Block Upgrade 2.” — DSA

DEFENCE  SECURITY ASIA APPS

 

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