Taiwan Rolls Out Indigenous Jet Trainer in $1.2 Billion Program

  • Our Bureau
  • 04:55 AM, September 25, 2019
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Taiwan Rolls Out Indigenous Jet Trainer in $1.2 Billion Program
Taiwan's “Brave Eagle” Advanced Jet Trainer: Image courtesy: AIDC

Taiwan rolled out “Brave Eagle,” the first indigenously produced Advanced Jet Trainer at the Aerospace Industrial Development Corp factory in Taichung’s Salu District yesterday.

The Ministry of National Defense has named the jet trainer as the AIDC T-5 Yung Ying (“Brave Eagle”). It took the Taiwanese government a mere 2 years to develop the jet at a cost of NT$37.7 billion (US$1.22 billion).

The Yung Ying (“Brave Eagle”) is a two-seater combat trainer which can be used both for flight and tactical training, Taipei Times reported

“There have been many challenges, detractors, critics and naysayers on the long journey leading to this day, but the facts show that we were right and our efforts were not in vain,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on the occasion in comments quoted by Taipei Times.

Since 2017, the trainer program has spent NT$37.7 billion (US$1.22 billion), created 1,200 jobs and expects to create another 800 jobs by 2021.

Taiwan Rolls Out Indigenous Jet Trainer in $1.2 Billion Program
AT-3 trainer in production: Image courtesy AIDC

The Advanced Jet Trainer AIDC T-5 would replace the AIDC AT-3 (used for intermediate flight training)and the Northrop F-5 for advanced tactical training.

The Yung Ying has commonality with the AIDC’s Indigenous Defense Fighter program. In addition to several key parts, both jets use a Honeywell/ITEC F124 engine, which is 55 percent domestically produced.

The trainer is equipped with advanced avionics which will allow it to re-program the flight characteristics of several combat aircraft.