The Ministry of National Defense has announced that it plans to develop a new generation of homegrown fighter jets with stealth capabilities as part of the government’s policy to develop an indigenous defense industry.
“Building homegrown aircraft and vessels has become an extremely important policy of the ministry since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed office. Progress has been made in building indigenous vessels and there is another promise the ministry has to keep, which is to develop a new generation of fighter jets,” Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said on Monday.
Feng made the announcement during a meeting with reporters, but did not give any details about the design or functions of the new aircraft.
According to reports, the new fighter jet is to be a double-engine stealth plane developed with Taiwanese technology.
The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology has reportedly been developing the engine technology based on the model fitted on the Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF).
The air force’s Aviation Technology Research Center is also to be responsible for the development of the new fighter jets.
The research center, though receiving little public attention, is critical for refining the nation’s air defense capabilities in the next 10 to 20 years, Feng said.
While the nation is still seeking to procure F-35Bs, the short takeoff and vertical-landing variant of the US stealth jet that could satisfy the nation’s defense needs due to the vulnerability of air bases, Taiwan has to develop its own fighter jets to maintain its defense capabilities and increase the possibility of procurement, Feng said.
The development of homegrown fighter jets is key to the nation’s defense industry, as Aerospace Industrial Development Corp, which designed and built the IDF when it was an air force research division, is now the nation’s largest defense company, Feng said.
However, senior military analyst Erich Shih (施孝瑋) said that the IDF engine, with its inadequate thrust, could not be used to power next-generation fighter jets.
A capable engine on next-generation fighter jets should produce at least 24,000 pounds of thrust, but an IDF’s two engines can only produce up to 18,000 pounds of thrust, making the IDF engine unfit for the new jets, Shih said.
Since the development of the IDF in the 1990s, Taiwan has made little progress in military aviation or technological cooperation with other nations — such as an aborted plan to partner with an Italian manufacturer to build trainer jets for the air force — but building new jets is a more efficient option, both technologically and financially, to advance the nation’s aerospace industry, he said.
‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’: The ‘Global Times’ accused the DPP of offering politicians in Somaliland bribes and promoting Taiwanese independence by funding US think tanks The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denounced China’s Global Times for disseminating disinformation about Taiwan, after the Chinese state-run newspaper claimed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been bribing Somaliland politicians. Taiwan in August last year inaugurated the Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland, which is the nation’s only representative office whose title uses just the name “Taiwan.” The East African country also established a representative office in Taipei, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations. The Chinese-language Global Times on Monday accused the DPP of offering Somaliland politicians and their families considerable bribes, citing anonymous sources. The International Cooperation
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
Ambassador Theaters on Tuesday announced that its Breeze Center cinemas in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) would close late this month after screening thousands of major Hollywood movies and local favorites over two decades. Ambassador Theaters, one of the largest cinema chain operators in Taiwan, said that Oct. 25 would be the last day the Breeze Center cinemas screen movies, adding that its lease expires on that day. “We sincerely appreciate the support and recognition from audiences in Taipei over the past 20 years,” the company said. “We look forward to seeing you again in the future.” The cinemas started operating in 2001, upon
BUMPING AROUND: A total of 143 people sustained fall injuries at MRT stations or inside trains over eight months, with a majority caused by ‘distracted walking’ Taipei Rapid Transit Corp yesterday urged people to avoid looking at their phones when walking, saying 73 cases of “distracted walking injuries” had occurred in the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system from January to August. As the local COVID-19 situation has been brought under control, passenger traffic has been increasing, reaching about 1.5 million rides per day last month, the company said. However, many passengers have been looking at their phones as they walk through MRT stations, which can lead to collisions with other passengers or injury from falling down stairs. A total of 143 people sustained fall injuries at MRT stations