Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has formally rolled out the first FA-50 light combat aircraft destined for Polish air force service.

The single-engined fighter, originally unveiled in March, was rolled out during a ceremony at KAI’s Sacheon factory, according to the company.

The jet is part of a 48-aircraft acquisition announced in late 2022. The first 12 examples will be delivered in an FA-50GF (‘Gap Filler’) standard, which is a similar configuration to FA-50s operated by the Republic of Korea Air Force. The cost of this acquisition is $705 million.

The aircraft will undergo flight tests pending delivery to Poland in August. All 12 FA-50GFs will be delivered by the end of 2023.

The jet bears the registration 5002 and sports a fake canopy painted underneath its fuselage.

“Thanks to the speedy release of FA-50GF, Poland is now able to equip itself with more advanced military strategies and realise the military modernisation,” says Polish defence minister Mariusz Blaszczak.

“I look forward to seeing [the] FA-50GF fly in the airspace of Poland.”

The subsequent 36 aircraft will be in an FA-50PL configuration. This deal is valued at $2.3 billion and will see deliveries run from 2025-2028.

The FA-50PL will feature an air-to-air refuelling capability and Raytheon’s PhantomStrike active electronically scanned array radar.

In May, the US government cleared the sale of 34 Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods to equip Poland’s FA-50 fleet.

In addition to air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions, Poland’s FA-50s will also be tasked with training Polish pilots for the Lockheed F-35, of which Warsaw is acquiring 32.