Phl, SoKor complete talks on 12 fighter jets


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is close to acquiring 12 lead-in fighter trainer jets from South Korea as the two countries completed negotiations for the multi-billion-peso project yesterday.

The Department of Defense’s special bids and awards committee, led by Undersecretary Fernando Manalo, approved the offer of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) after about seven months of negotiations. The completion of the talks would pave the way to the signing of the contract for the P18.9-billion ($415.7-million) project.

“We did not only inch closer (to a deal), we are almost there,” Manalo told reporters after the final round of negotiations in Camp Aguinaldo.

The Philippines will acquire FA-50 jets, which are derived from the family of T-50 advanced jet trainers.

The first batch of jets will be delivered late next year if a contract is signed this month. KAI is required to deliver at least two jets within 18 months after the inking of the contract. The delivery for the project is expected to be completed by 2017.

“We will have to have the contract signed if not within the month of February, before the 15th of March,” Manalo said.


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