Poland and South Korea are reportedly adjacent to finalising a large arms woody which volition see the merchantability of 48 Korean F-50 lightweight combatant jets arsenic good arsenic 850 tanks and aforesaid propelled artillery pieces, with the merchantability marking the latest of respective successes for the craft which archetypal flew successful 2002 and has seen orders from implicit fractional a twelve countries successful some combat and trainer variants. The F-50 is simply a derivative of the T-50 trainer, which successful presumption of combat capabilities is considered the most capable successful the satellite extracurricular Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, and inherits the trainer’s debased operational costs and easiness of attraction portion improving its lethality considerably. With Taiwan’s competing Brave Eagle pitchy having yet to materialise, the T-50 is wide considered the astir precocious trainer produced to beryllium compatible with U.S. and NATO hardware, starring the U.S. Air Force among others to amusement strong interest successful acquisitions. F-50 orders travel arsenic Poland seeks to maximise its combat imaginable successful the look of increasing tensions with neighbouring Russia, and arsenic status of existing squadrons of Su-22 and MiG-29 fighters acquired from the Soviet Union is expected successful the adjacent future. The T/F-50 has seen important usage of combat successful the Philippines and Iraq, namely for counterinsurgency operations against Islamist militants, though its quality to meaningfully lend to operations against a modern authorities militaries specified arsenic those of Russia and Belarus remains successful question.
A large shortcoming of the F-50 arsenic a modern combatant is its deficiency of viable beyond ocular scope aerial to aerial capabilities, which portion capable connected the Korean Peninsula wherever overmuch of North Korea’s Air Force likewise lacks specified capabilities, volition beryllium a large shortcoming successful Eastern Europe with Russia’s latest aerial to aerial missiles being among the astir susceptible in the world. Although plans to integrate the AIM-120C aerial to aerial rocket onto the combatant were antecedently considered, with the rocket having superior capabilities to those equipping astir Russian and Belarusian combatant squadrons, this ne'er materialised leaving the fighters relying solely connected AIM-9 infrared guided missiles and A-50 rotary cannon. The anticipation that F-50s could beryllium modified to usage specified missiles successful future, however, cannot beryllium ruled out, with the anticipation of equipping them with anti vessel cruise missiles besides having besides been raised for aboriginal variants.
Reports of a ample F-50 merchantability to Poland comes conscionable days aft South Korea conducted the maiden flight of its stealth fighter, the KF-21, which made it lone the 4th state successful the satellite to alert specified an craft and the archetypal to articulation the exclusive database since 2011 erstwhile China archetypal flew its J-20 prototype. The F-50 merchantability is expected not lone to inject sizeable caller funds into the program, which could pave the mode for improvement of a fig of projected variants specified arsenic physics onslaught jets, but could besides perchance unfastened the doorway to Polish acquisitions of the KF-21 arsenic a higher extremity counterpart.