Poland’s new FA-50s to make airshow debut at Radom

The Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 light combat aircraft will make its European airshow debut at the Radom Airshow this August, in the hands of the type’s first western operator, the Polish Air Force.

The organisers of the Radom Airshow confirmed that Poland’s new jets, the first of which are due to be delivered in July or August of this year, will take part in both the flying and static display of the Radom Airshow, the country’s largest military airshow, organised by the Polish Ministry of Defence. The show will take place on the 27th-28th August, just a few weeks after the arrival of the FA-50s.

Poland ordered 48 FA-50s in July 2022 to replace their ageing Su-22, and will be the first western operator of a Korean-built aircraft. The FA-50 was selected in preference to the F-16V Viper, partly because of the rapid delivery schedule proposed by its manufacturer, KAI. The first eight Polish FA-50 pilots began a 23-week training programme in Korea last month, which should be completed at the end of July.

The FA-50 is the light combat variant of KAI’s successful T-50 Golden Eagle family of supersonic advanced jet trainers and light attach aircraft. The FA-50 variant has already seen export success to Malaysia, Iraq and the Philippines, while Thailand and Indonesia operate the T-50. In recent years, KAI has been pitching the jet to potential customers in Europe and Australia. It also competed in the US Air Force’s T-X programme.