TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's new indigenous advanced jet trainer (AJT), or "Brave Eagle" (勇鷹, Yung Yin), took to the air for the first time on Wednesday (June 10).
The new trainer jet had its maiden test flight at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. The aircraft could be seen sporting a brand new red, white, and blue paint job with an eagle soaring on its tail fin.
The flight was the first of three days of test flights slated for the trainer, reported CNA. Many aircraft enthusiasts reportedly gathered at the scene to catch a glimpse of the new jet.
After taking to the air, the AJT did not retract its landing gear, and it was escorted by two IDF fighters. After 20 minutes of executing various maneuvers, the jet made a successful landing.
Brave Eagle taxiing on runway. (MND photo)
On Thursday and Friday (June 11 and 12), the jet will continue to carry out tests. The Brave Eagle is scheduled to make its official first flight on June 22, with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) presiding over an official ceremony to mark the occasion.
The domestically built AJT is designed to replace the aging AT-3 Tzu Chiang jet trainer and F-5E Tiger II fighter aircraft, both of which are currently used for training. However, the jet has the capacity to carry weapons in the event of a war.
Taiwan's state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) is to produce a total of 66 AJTs for the military by 2026.