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KAI completes deliveries of FA-50 Block 10 light combat aircraft to Poland

By Defence Industry Europe

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has completed the delivery of all 12 FA-50 Block 10 light combat aircraft to the Polish Armed Forces, marking a significant enhancement of the Polish Air Force's capabilities following the transfer of Soviet-era MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine.

 

This delivery fulfills one of two contracts signed between Poland’s Ministry of Defence and KAI in September 2022. Last year, Poland secured a deal for 12 FA-50 Block 10 jets from KAI valued at USD 705 million. This contract stipulated that the deliveries would be concluded by the end of 2023 and included a comprehensive package of training, logistics, and technical support.

 

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Sources from Poland’s Ministry of Defence indicate that the 12 FA-50 Block 10 jets will primarily serve training purposes for the Polish Air Force. Notably, Poland has not procured any air-to-air weapons for these jets, and its stocks of air-to-ground weapons systems are somewhat limited.

The second contract, signed in September 2023, involves the delivery of 36 FA-50 Block 20 aircraft (locally designated as “FA-50PL”) between 2025 and 2028.  These aircraft will be equipped with AESA radar, and the Polish Air Force has expressed the intent to integrate AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles into this air platform.  The contract for these advanced jets is estimated to be worth approximately USD 2.3 billion.

 

 

Regarding the AESA radar for the 36 FA-50 Block 20 aircraft, Poland’s Armament Agency has announced plans to equip these fighters with Raytheon’s PhantomStrike radar.

Subsequently, Poland’s Ministry of Defence intends to upgrade the 12 FA-50 Block 10 aircraft, acquired under the first contract, to the FA-50PL standard.  This move is part of Poland’s broader strategy to modernize its air defense capabilities and maintain a robust aerial defense posture.

 

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