The Polish Air Force already has the first complete batch of KAI FA-50GF (Gap Filler) light fighters, or Block 10. The 12 aircraft were presented at the 23rd Air Base in Mińsk Mazowiecki, lined up according to their designations.
Poland signed an FA-50 fighter supply agreement with Korean Aerospace Industries in 2022, covering 48 aircraft.
The first batch, whose deliveries were completed at the end of 2023, includes 12 FA-50s following Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) standards, some of which were already assembled.
The second batch, with 36 FA-50PL light fighters, will be produced following Polish specifications and deliveries will begin in 2025, extending until 2027 or 2028.
The FA-50s, derived from the T-50 Golden Eagle advanced trainer jet, will be used in support of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters. Poland also has an order for 5th generation F-35 Lightning II fighters.
The FA-50PL variant, from Block 20, will feature more modern and capable equipment such as a Raytheon PhantomStrike AESA radar, the AN/AAQ-33 target designator pod and AIM-9X and AIM-120 missiles, in addition to Link systems -16 and Identification Facility (IFF), used by NATO.
The South Korean aircraft was developed with support from Lockheed Martin and bears a slight resemblance to the F-16 in the rear portion.
The FA-50 is equipped with a General Electric F404 with afterburner with a thrust of 17,700 pounds (79 kN). The maximum speed is Mach 1.5 (1,837.5 km/h) and the aircraft’s operational range is 1,800 km.
The maximum takeoff weight is 12.3 tons, which allows it to carry up to 4.5 tons of weapons.