Polish Air Force receives two more South Korean KAI FA-50 fighter jets

The Polish Air Force has welcomed the addition of two more FA-50 fighter jets from South Korea, landing at Warsaw Okecie. This brings the total number of FA-50s received to 8, with plans to complete the delivery of 12 units by year's end, as stated by Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

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Polish Air Force receives two more South Korean KAI FA 50 fighter jets KAI F-50 delivered to the Polish Air Force (Picture source: tech.wp.pl/MON/Cpl. Wojciech Król)

The inaugural FA-50 arrived in July, and there is an impending order for an extra 36 jets tailored to Polish specifications under the FA-50PL configuration. These new aircraft will serve in air border patrolling and will also be deployed in missions alongside allies, as per the Defense Ministry's outline.

The T-50 Golden Eagle is a family of South Korean supersonic advanced jet trainers and light combat aircraft, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with Lockheed Martin. The T-50 is South Korea's first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world's few supersonic trainers. Development began in the late 1990s, and its maiden flight occurred in 2002. The aircraft entered active service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) in 2005.

The T-50 has been further developed into aerobatic and combat variants, namely T-50B, TA-50, and FA-50. An F-50 single-seat multirole fighter variant was considered before being canceled. The T-50B serves with the South Korean Air Force's aerobatics team.

The T-50 has been in service with a number of countries. Iraq ordered 24 training variants called the T-50IQ in 2013, and received them in 2016. The TA-50 light attack variant have also been ordered by Indonesia in 2011, with 16 planes entering service by 2014; an additional 6 planes were ordered in 2021. The Philippines ordered 12 units of the FA-50 light fighter variant in 2014, delivered over the next few years with the country considering ordering another batch of 12 planes. Thailand ordered 12 units of the T-50 advanced trainer variant (T-50TH) starting in 2015. In 2022, Poland ordered 48 FA-50 aircraft, followed by Malaysia in 2023 which ordered 18 of the latest Block 20 variant.