CNA/FocusTaiwan reported that Taiwanese Air Force (commonly referred to as the Republic of China Air Force) on December 22, 2021 took delivery of the second indigenous advanced jet trainer (AJT) to roll off the production line of local aircraft maker Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC). The serial number 1102 AJT took off from central Taichung Air Base, where AIDC is located, together with an AJT prototype, at 9:20 a.m. The two aircraft were joined by the first AJT to roll off the production line, serial number 1101, off the coast of Taitung before the trio landed at eastern Taitung Air Base around 10 a.m. The second AJT ensured the AIDC fulfilled its promise to deliver two models of the aircraft to the Air Force by the end of this year.
The AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle is a supersonic advanced jet trainer under development by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) of Taiwan. The design is based on the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo and shares the same engines, but will have 80% new components including a composite body. Compared to the F-CK-1 it will have advanced avionics, increased fuel capacity, and be a little larger. More than 55% of its components are made in Taiwan. It has been reported that the aircraft was designed from the beginning to serve dual peacetime training and wartime combat roles.
AIDC is scheduled to deliver 66 T-5 Brave Eagle jet trainers to the Air Force before 2026. The delivery will also include 26 sets of ground-assisted training systems, 16 sets of mission planning systems, three sets of basic flight simulators, a set of full-function flight simulators, a set of real-time ground monitoring systems, and a set of flight training management systems. The ram air scoop of the F-CK-1 has been redesigned in partnership with the Eaton Corporation with two aluminum laser powder bed fusion printed parts replacing 22 original parts. Meggitt will supply the main wheels, carbon brakes, and brake control systems as they do on the AT-3 and F-CK-1. Martin-Baker will provide the ejection seat systems.
According to the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense (MND) report delivered to the Legislature in September, AIDC plans to deliver a total of 66 AJTs to the Air Force by June 2026. The AJT project was initiated in 2017 to replace the military’s decades-old AT-3 trainer aircraft and F-5E/F lead-in fighter trainers. The development of the jet trainer, codenamed Yung-Ying or “Brave Eagle,” was carried out as part of the country’s efforts to become more militarily self-reliant.