AIDC to deliver new trainer jet fleet by 2026: ministry

Staff writer, with CNA  / 

Tue, Sep 04, 2018 - Page 3

Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) is to deliver 66 military aircraft to the government by 2026, the Ministry of National Defense said on Friday.

AIDC, which developed the Indigenous Defense Fighter, has been commissioned to design and build 66 advanced trainer jets, all of which would be delivered within eight years, the ministry said in its five-year plan to build up the Republic of China Armed Forces.

During that period, AIDC would also develop large engines and key components for trainer jets and the next generation of fighter jets, the ministry said.

AIDC began to assemble the first of the 66 jets on June 1, the ministry said, adding that ground tests are planned for September next year and the first test flight for June 2020.

The advanced trainer jets are to replace the military’s 30-year-old AT-3 trainers and the F-5E/F fighter jets, the ministry said.

DOMESTIC DESIGN

The domestic modernization and production of aircraft and submarines has been a priority for President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration since it took office in 2016.

With China’s military might increasing, Taiwan must overhaul its military projects and beef up its self-defense capabilities in its efforts to keep Chinese forces at bay, the ministry said.