The South Korean air force began training Polish pilots to use FA-50 combat aircraft, the Yonhap agency reported. Last year, Poland ordered 48 such fighter machines, manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).
The training began at the 1st Fighter Wing (an air force unit) in Gwangju, just over 300 km south of Seoul, Yonhap said, citing South Korean officials.
S. Korea starts training program for Polish pilots on FA-50 fighter operation https://t.co/XKwFPyFDLI
— Yonhap News Agency (@YonhapNews) February 22, 2023
This year, the South Korean Air Force plans to train eight Polish pilots as part of a 23-week program, conducted in two phases and using i.a. T-50 training aircraft. The FA-50 was developed based on the T-50.
South Korean KF-21 and FA-50.
What a perfect picture. pic.twitter.com/fMt8lj2Uar
— Mason (@MasonLee8718) February 18, 2023
The first four pilots are expected to complete their training before July 21, and the rest will be trained from May 8 to October 13, Yonhap said.
Deputy Prime Minister @mblaszczak approved the framework agreement with the Republic of Korea 🇰🇷 to purchase 48 FA-50 fighters for the Polish Armed Forces 🇵🇱. With K2 tanks and K9 howitzers contracts it is one of the biggest and most important purchase of the recent years. pic.twitter.com/TOJtQuhYIL
— Poland MOD 🇵🇱 (@Poland_MOD) September 16, 2022
In August 2022, Mariusz Błaszczak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the National Defense of Poland announced that 12 Korean FA-50 training and combat aircrafts would be delivered to Poland in 2023. We are strengthening the Polish Air Force and the Polish Armed Forces to deter the aggressor, Błaszczak said.
As described by the Inspector of the Air Force at the General Command of the Armed Forces of Poland, Maj. Gen. Jacek Pszczoła, South Korea produced this aircraft based on the construction of the American F-16s.
“The Korean side assures us that a pilot trained on the F-16 needs six hours to start flying the FA-50,” Gen. Pszczoła said.
According to Yonhap, the T-50 series is now used by Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines and Thailand, and the South Korean Air Force has trained 47 pilots from these countries as of 2013.