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Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines' recently reelected chairman, casts a shadow over his country's recently purchased and only combat aircraft, the FA-50 Golden Eagle. During the March campaign, Duterte had mistaken the FA-50s for a "waste of money" that they could not use against China's warriors.
"I will not fight for Scarborough Shoal," he said, and referred to offshore isles in the Philippines that are being fought over by China. Mr Duterte was obviously more angry at the prospects of being reviled for the encouragement of suicide attacks on drugs traffickers than by China's expanding into the seas off the banks of its insular state.
In fact, these apparently incoherent events point to a similar dynamic: the new head of state in Asia is cautious about being dragged into an informal U.S.-led coalition to oppose China's Pacific growth. China's recent rapid growth in the South China Sea is predicated on the so-called Nine-Dash line.
Nevertheless, Japan and South Korea have little desire to dance to China's pipe, and Vietnam, for historic reason, is very susceptible to the perception of malice of its northerly neighbour. Former Filipino leader Benigno Aquino had planned to challenge China's claim to adjacent waterways and modernise the Filipino military with US support.
Recently, a court eventually decided against the China lawsuits in the South China Sea, although Beijing had previously indicated that it would not stick to its will. Duterte, however, believes that monies spent on fighting China are being squandered on pointless efforts, and his nation would be better off if it took a gentler attitude towards an important trade interlocutor, while at the same time diverting expenditure towards suppressing domestic insecurity.
Was Duterte's devastating comment on the FA-50 deserved? It'?s the golden eagle: Developed by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), the Golden Eagle is an innovative jet instructor based on the company's expertise in the licensed production of F-16 Fighting Falcons. The golden eagle, first created in 1997, relied on Falcon designs and obtained 13% of its financing from Lockheed Martin.
She made her maiden voyage in 2002 and became South Korea's first indigenous ultrasonic aircraft. Not to be mistaken for the Russians warrior, the T-50 Golden Eagle was meant to act as a two-seater lead-in aircraft trainer (LIFT), a quick but pardoning jet that prepares the pilot for real-life airplanes.
T-50 instructors were considered so popular and simple to use that KAI chose to manufacture an improved TA-50 aircraft that could perform dual tasks as a lightweight aircraft with the capability to use precision-guided weaponry and a more efficient radars. With the FA-50, an aircraft that is to be used as a low-cost ultrasound aircraft with fourth-generation electronics, KAI has taken the next stage in the development of the aircraft's overall concept.
FA-50, which made its maiden voyage in 2011, will add more propellant capability and major upgrade capabilities, such as a radars detector that alerts pilots when attacked by enemy radars, overnight viewing devices and a wireless connection to connect the aircraft with friendliest sensors and weapons platform. The most important thing is that it is equipped with an EL/M-2032 pulsed Doppler infrared scanner with an efficient 100 km detection distance to detect fighters.
However, the ELM has a smaller cruising distance and is less powerful than the AESA fighter equipped US fighter planes, and Samsung appears to be developing an AESA for use in the Golden Eagle.