IndopacificKorea Aerospace Industries (KAI) announced that the company recently held a roll-out ceremony of FA-50 #1 that will be exported to Poland. This is the shortest achievement to release a combat aircraft in eight months since the contract signing in September 2022 thanks to the excellence in manufacturing of KAI and the sweeping support by the Ministry of National Defense, The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) of the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea Air Force.

About 100 distinguished participants included CEO KANG Goo-young of KAI; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Mariusz Błaszcza, National Defense of Poland; Minister LEE Jong-sup of National Defense of the Republic of Korea; General JUNG Sang-hwa, Chief of Staff of the ROK Air Force; Directorate Brig. General Ireneusz Nowak, Chief of the Air Force of Poland; Minister EOM Dong-hwan of DAPA, the Republic of Korea; and Ambassador Piotr Ostaszewski of Poland to the Republic of Korea.

The roll-out ceremony is meaningful as this is the first chance to disclose the actual aircraft that remained on the drawing to the general public. The theme of this ceremony is ‘Firm Commitment, Secure Future’, which holds a symbolic meaning to illustrate the commitment to protect the sovereign airspace of Poland and the Republic of Korea, and the amicable relationship between the two nations.

FA-50 #1 used the name FA-50GF (Gap Filler) as it will function to fill Poland’s strategic gaps by swiftly replacing the aging air fighters in Poland and having new ones on track for military missions in a timely manner.

After the flight test by the end of July, FA-50GF will be provided starting in August. The first 12 FA-50GFs are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2023.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Mariusz Błaszcza, National Defense of Poland said, “Thanks to the speedy release of FA-50GF, Poland is now able to equip itself with more advanced military strategies and realise the military modernisation. I look forward to seeing FA-50GF fly in the airspace of Poland.”

Minister LEE Jong-sup of National Defense of the Republic of Korea congratulated on the releasing of FA-50 and said, “This will be an opportunity to enhance the cooperation in national defence and defence market both in Poland and the Republic of Korea.”

CEO KANG Goo-young of KAI said, “I appreciate the ROK Air Force and many others from both Poland and South Korea, who never spare their effort to support the development and the manufacturing of the aircraft until we see the first release of FA-50GF.” He also added, “We will exert ourselves to create aircrafts that Korean and Polish citizens can rely on through its thorough testing and assessment.”

According to the contract, KAI is scheduled to consecutively provide 36 FA-50PLs (Poland) out of the maximum contract number of 48 between the 2nd half of 2025 and 2028, which is the upgraded version of FA-50 with the highest level of specifications by reflecting the needs and the requests from the Polish Air Force.

The FA-50PL is upgraded with overall functions by extending its range through the aerial refuelling function and enhancing the active electronically scanned array (AESA), and air-to-surface and air-to-air weapons, which is expected to contribute to develop the Air Force of Poland.

The FA-50PL is a combat aircraft, which can carry out various missions including special tactics and fighter duties. With its outstanding compatibility with F-16, FA-50PL is optimised for fighter training for the 5th generation jets such as F-35, which is expected to play its role as a core type of aircraft for the Air Force of Poland.

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  1. THe South Koreans should be building our surface fleet we may get them before any future war is over….who trust our DoD?

    • The RoKN Aegis-equipped KDX-III – modeled on the Arleigh Burke design – has 128 VLS cells compared with 32 for the yet to be built Hunter class. Do you think that design was even considered for our future requirements? Not for a single second.

    • Yep, should be asking HHI to cast their eyes over Osborne with a view to taking at least partial ownership.

        • Two good choices both of whom would do the job.
          Sole source OPV’s, MCM vessels to Austal and get one of the Korean companies to do anything larger

  2. Why the DoD casts its gaze across the Pacific when looking for equipment is beyond baffling. Apart from the constraints of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, U.S.industry is flat out supplying its own Military. South Korean manufacturing can supply (and have offered many times) just about every item the DSR has said Australian Defence requires urgently but it is constantly ignored by the DoD. If the relevant parties had selected the STH Korean offers we would already have or be well on the way to the majority of the DSR requirements AND the greater majority would be Australian made. I’m beginning to despair that the DoD and the actual Defense of Australia will ever be reconciled.

    • I agree with all of that. Also Korea is prepared to transfer technology and manufacture locally, which the US is reluctant to do. Korea is prepared to do that for several reasons as they don’t see Australia as a global competitor since we are not geared up for manufacturing at enormous scale – and in some circumstances they are attracted to the idea of a second source of production for systems that they use themselves.


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