Republic of China Air Force Receives 27 T-5A Brave Eagles from Taiwan’s AIDC

Taiwan’s AIDC Completes 27 T-5A Brave Eagle Deliveries to Republic of China Air Force
Taiwan’s AIDC Completes 27 T-5A Brave Eagle Deliveries to Republic of China Air Force

Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) has delivered 27 out of 66 T-5A Brave Eagle Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs) ordered by the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF). Janes reported that AIDC had achieved its annual delivery target of 17 T-5As to the RoCAF in 2023. The earlier batch of 10 aircraft was delivered between 2021 and 2022. The twin-engine T-5A (also known as the T-BE5A) is intended to replace the RoCAF’s obsolete AIDC AT-3 trainers and Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II fighters. The RoCAF aims to have all 66 T-5s in service by 2026. The 66 aircraft are being acquired at a cost of TWD68.6 billion (USD2.2 billion).

The AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle (Yongying) is a transonic advanced jet trainer developed by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) of Taiwan. AIDC had used Blue Magpie, for the Taiwan blue magpie, as the project name. However in 2018 the Ministry of National Defense announced a contest to pick an official name for the aircraft. Taiwanese citizens were invited to submit a name with a short proposal with the winner receiving a NTD 30,000 prize. On 24 September 2019, the president Tsai Ing-wen officially named the new aircraft “Brave Eagle” during first prototype aircraft roll-out ceremony.

 

 

Republic of China Air Force T-5 Brave Eagle Advanced Jet Trainer
Republic of China Air Force T-5 Brave Eagle Advanced Jet Trainer.

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 more advanced avionics, increased fuel capacity, and will be a little larger. The aerofoil is slightly revised, with the wings being thicker than on the F-CK-1 in order to increase stability at low speed and low altitude, as well as to provide increased fuel storage. 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.

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. NCSIST is developing an airborne AESA radar for the T-5 Brave Eagle but private Taiwanese firm Tron Future Tech has also bid their gallium nitride based AESA for the program. In 2019 it was announced that Pyras Technology would supply the radar and communications antennas for the platform. In 2019 Jane’s reported that a light fighter AT-5 variant was planned to replace the Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II fleet.

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