The first two of 12 FA-50 fighter jets from South Korea that was delivered to the Philippine Air Force. (Photo from the Facebook account of the Philippine Air Force)
An FA-50 fighter jet was the aircraft reportedly involved in second “friendly fire” incident in Marawi City that killed two soldiers and wounded 11 others, a well-placed military source told the Inquirer.
“It was an FA-50 per initial report,” the source said, requesting anonymity as the Armed Forces of the Philippines had begun to investigate the incident.
The source added that the jets were still using ordinary ordnance and not the precision guided munitions, or PGMs, yet.
In an earlier statement, the AFP said initial reports from Marawi indicated that the incident took place at noon on Wednesday. The bomb was 250 meters off target and the impact of the explosion caused structures to collapse.
Two soldiers were hit by the large debris from the “heavily reinforced buildings,” the military said. Eleven other soldiers were hospitalized for minor shrapnel wounds.
“Cognizant units from the AFP have formed a group that is now conducting initial investigations to determine the cause of the mishap and prevent the chances of it re-occouring,” military spokespersons said.
At the PAF’s 70th anniversary last week, eight of the 12 FA-50 jets were on a flight line, a showcase of the defense capability of the Air Force and a return to the supersonic age after decades of neglect.
Four of the jets were deployed in Marawi at the time of the PAF anniversary.
Top officials of the Korean Aerospace Industry had presented the certificate of complete delivery of all 12 FA-50s to President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.