Polish pilots to undergo advanced training in South Korea on F-50A fighters

"We are strongly heading in the direction of having American support for this squadron. The Polish version, as per the agreement, will be delivered in 2025"

A South Korean Air Force FA-50 fighter jet takes off during the Ulchi Freedom Shield military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea at an undisclosed air base in South Korea, Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
4 Min Read

Twenty-four Polish pilots will head to South Korea for training as part of the largest military aviation rearmament operation in over two decades

The Polish pilots’ extensive training sessions in South Korea will mark the largest such deployment for training since the late 1990s. According to commercial TV channel Polsat News, this initiative is a component of a significant rearmament project involving the FA-50 fighter aircraft, which has been ongoing for more than 20 years.

The first squadron of Korean FA-50 fighters is currently based near Warsaw, Poland, where both personnel and pilots are entering a crucial phase of their training. The complete project comprises over 36,000 items including documentation, equipment, logistical packages, and IT systems.

Colonel Marcin Boruta, an FA-50 engineer, emphasized the vast array of components necessary to safely and effectively operate the FA-50 aircraft. He disclosed that these components would continue to be delivered to Poland over the next 1.5 years.

The FA-50 aircraft are set to serve as support fighters during battle operations. In the event of an attack, they will provide crucial air support to ground forces, including armored and missile troops, and will target advanced enemy positions. Currently, there are 12 FA-50GF aircraft stationed at the Mińsk Mazowiecki base.

The Air Force Inspector General Ireneusz Nowak revealed details about the delivery process of the FA-50 aircraft.

“The delivery was exceptionally fast. I have never encountered such a rapid pace of deliveries. We currently have 12 aircraft in a transitional version, which was in fact meant to compensate for the donation of MiG-29s to Ukraine, so these 12 machines are in Mińsk Mazowiecki,” said General Nowak.

“We are strongly heading in the direction of having American support for this squadron. The Polish version, as per the agreement, will be delivered in 2025,” he added.

The first group of FA-50 pilots is already capable of flying independently without the supervision of Korean instructors. This summer, the first Polish pilots will achieve instructor status, with less than 40 flights required for one of them to qualify. While initial training will take place in Korea, advanced training will soon be conducted in Poland by Polish instructors.

Additionally, ground personnel training is now exclusively taking place in Poland, a critical development, as the operational readiness of the new aircraft will depend on the training of several hundred military personnel.

Captain Małgorzata Urban commented on the similarities between the FA-50 and the previously known F-16, noting that her experience with the F-16 greatly facilitated her handling of the Korean aircraft. She highlighted the systemic similarities between the two models.

By the end of next year, deliveries of the FA-50s equipped with the new American PhantomStrike super radars will begin, marking a significant upgrade in capabilities. Poland will be the first country in the world to receive these advanced radars, positioning the FA-50PL as the most modern version of these fighters globally.

Share This Article