Is Phil. Air Force Ready To Have Multi-role Fighter Jets?

Victory is achievable when one rules the skies. And that will not be possible without the use of MRFs or Multi-role fighter jets like F-16, JAS 39 Gripen or J-10 possessed by the enemy like the People's Liberation Army Air Force or PLAAF.


The Philippine air force as of this posting has two lead-in fighter trainer jets from South Korea (FA-50PH) with ten more arriving soon. These jets are meant to train pilots so that soon they can ride and control MRFs as it was stipulated through the pipeline upon the guidelines of the Department of National Defense's Horizon two of the AFP Modernization program. With this calls upon defense-related sites that a decent MRF jet must be acquired as soon as possible, all in the name of territorial integrity.

With notes from Tan Tian Cai [link here]
F-16 fighter where the FA-50 is derived.
A lot of people have been said about the future of the PAF and about how best the PAF should acquire a proper MRF capability as soon as possible.

Often times, such discussions often focus on the subject of what kind of fighter the PAF should buy. The discussion will often focus on the technical and performance aspects of the individual aircraft themselves.

One major consideration that's often ignored in such debates is the current state of the PAF itself. At best, people would say something like: "We know the PAF is currently weak. Hence why we must buy the best MRF we can afford to make us strong again". While that's a good point in itself, it doesn't address the real problem facing the PAF. It's not so much what you buy. But rather, do you have the technical know-how to properly maintain complex equipment in good working condition AFTER you've bought it?

It's an often overlooked fact that buyers of imported equipment, any equipment, have to adapt to the technical standards established by the seller and not the other way around. You have to learn the principles the equipment is designed on as well as how those principles affect the machine in its regular operation and in its maintenance.

Such knowledge requires special study and an established foundation of the right sets of skills that are meant to get absorbed. In simple terms, you can't simply just ask a car mechanic to repair a fighter jet nor a bus driver to fly a plane. That simply means a plane is a complex machine to obtain.

The real question to ask is hence not if the Philippines can afford to buy the latest MRF. Its more on manpower that comes with this simple, logical and as well necessary question: Do you guys have the right people and the right technology base to properly maintain any high tech fighter you buy in the future?

Looking at the current state of the PAF, where they struggle to keep even a 1980's vintage SIAI-Marchetti S-211 in serviceable conditions, it doesn't bode well for the future fleet. The good news is the FA-50PH currently in service are so far being maintained in good condition. That is a good sign that things are turning the corner. However, in the long run, a reevaluation may be needed as problems tend to occur as equipment gets older. The ability of the PAF to properly maintain its FA-50PH, in the long run, would be the benchmark on which to judge if the PAF is ready for an MRF fleet.


Technical know-how regarding such weaponry is not possible without proper maintenance. And speaking of maintenance, the Philippine Air Force is far from reaching the necessary goals of what is called an ideal environment which means a longer lifespan for the jets. Citing that it was slowly developed upon the purchase of the FA-50s, it is deemed hopeful that within six-years time, this organization will already have decent weapons together with decent support services. For now, let us satisfy as to what we have right now.



Unknown said...

one might notice that the 1st 2 PAF FA50'S are already
carrying missles on their wing tips. Real or dummy?

Anonymous said...

It's a fuel tank.

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