Taiwan's IDF fighters to serve in 'Wild Weasel' role

Taiwan IDF fighters being upgraded with anti-radar missiles to enable them to serve as "Wild Weasels" destroying enemy anti-aircraft defenses

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IDF fighter jet.

IDF fighter jet. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's Air Force on Friday (March 9) announced new upgrades are in the works for its Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF, 經國號), including the addition of radar-seeking missiles to enable them to play a role as "Wild Weasels" to destroy enemy anti-aircraft defenses.

In a video released on Friday, Taiwan's Air Force announced that it will upgrade all of its IDF A and B models in its Third Wing to IDF C and D models, which will enhance aircraft management as well as strengthen air defense and anti-aircraft warfare capabilities to improve overall operational efficiency of the the fighters. The Air Force also pointed out performance improvements to the IDF the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and technology (NCSIST) is developing, including long-range air-to-surface missiles as well as anti-radiation (radar-seeking) missiles to strengthen its air-to-ground attack capabilities.

Also in the video, the Air Force announced the results of its research program on improving the domestically-made war plane to C and D models, including improvements to its core avionics, radar, flight software, and a whole new range of precision weapons designed by the NCSIST. The Air Force plans on using these improvements as a foundation for research and development of the next generation of advanced fighter jets.

The Air Force said that the upgrades to the IDF will not only lengthen the lifespan of the fighter jet, but it will also increase equipment availability and solve logistical problems, while simultaneously improving avionics, fire control and weapons launch systems. According to the Air Force, these improvements will enhance both its air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities.

Once the IDF fighter jets are outfitted with the new anti-radiation missiles, they will be able to serve as "Wild Weasels," which is a U.S. Air Force code word for fighter jets that specialize in taking out radar and surface to air (SAM) installations of enemy anti-aircraft defenses.