In recent years, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has risen to prominence as many air forces across the globe sought cost-effective, efficient, and maneuverable jets. Compared to larger multirole or strike aircraft such as the American F/A-18 Hornet or Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum, LCAs are usually slower used for Counterinsurgency or close air support missions.

Out of the LCAs that arose in the last four decades, the South Korean FA-50 is currently dominating the market—sweeping contracts left and right worldwide. However, existing customers found unprecedented flaws in the beloved combat aircraft that could potentially catapult to its descent… and an opportunity that rising LCA stars wouldn’t want to miss to seize.

FA-50 Logistics Shortage

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is one of the many customers of the FA-50, receiving its P18.9 billion-worth fleet (around $323 million at today’s rate) from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) between 2015 to 2017 and playing a significant role during the Marawi City campaign.

Since then, the LCA has become an important part of the PAF, but according to news reports, most aircraft have now been grounded. Out of twelve, only three remained operational because of spare parts logistics problems, causing a mandatory scheduled maintenance backlog.