Poland's new FA-50 light fighter emerges.

The first 12 FA-50GF “Gap Fillers” should arrive in Poland this summer, with 36 FA-50PL advanced later.

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has shared the first photos of what will be Poland’s new FA-50 Fighting Eagle light fighter after the European country signed the agreement to acquire it last September. 

The FA-50s will help ease the Polish Air Force’s reliance on its aging Soviet fleet of Su-22 Fitter and MiG-29 ground-attack fighters, the latter of which Warsaw has said for nearly a year it would be willing to send to Ukraine. 

The photos of the Polish FA-50s posted by KAI were taken at the company’s Sacheon, South Korea facility. In the images, you can see that the fighter has the service number 5002 and has been customized with the standard gray camouflage of the Polish Air Force (PAF) and the characteristic red and white checkered insignia.

 A “false canopy” has also been painted on the underside of the FA-50 fuselage to confuse enemy aircraft in the heat of close-range combat. Flightglobal states this is the first time this feature has been used.

Poland's new FA-50 light fighter emerges.
One of the photos of the Polish FA-50GF light fighters shared by Korean Aerospace Industries.

The agreement reached between Poland and KAI last September to supply FA-50s to the PAF was just one part of what turned out to be the largest arms export deal ever made by the Republic of Korea (ROK).

 In addition to what will be a fleet of 48 FA-50s, the Republic of Korea has also sold 180 K2 Black Panther main battle tanks and some 670 K9 Thunder self-propelled artillery units to Poland in a deal valued at more than $14.5 billion.

“When ordering modern weapons for the Polish Army, we follow four criteria: the first criterion is needed, the second is modernity, the third is the speed of delivery, and the fourth is compatibility,” the Polish Defense Minister said. Mariusz Blaszczak. “All these criteria are met in the cooperation framework agreement signed with South Korea.”

The 48 FA-50s scheduled to receive the PAF will be divided into two variants. Twelve of them will be designated FA-50GF, or Gap Filler, and are modified TA-50 Block II Golden Eagle trainer aircraft originally intended for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). 

The FA-50GF is the variant featured in the images shared by KAI. The company will start delivering the first of 12 FA-50GFs to the PAF in August, with the remainder expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

 

The second variant, designated the FA-50PL is a new production aircraft built specifically for the PAF, and the service will receive 36 of this type under the agreement with KAI. The company aims to deliver the first FA-50PL in autumn 2025, while the rest of the shipment is expected to arrive in Poland by the end of 2028. The global delivery will also include spare parts, technical support, logistics packages, and simulators Of flight.

Via: The Drive