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Taiwan's development of next-generation fighter ahead of schedule

Overall design, engine production phase for new fighter jet slated for 2024

Concept illustration of Taiwan's potential new fighter jet. (Stavatti Aerospace image)

Concept illustration of Taiwan's potential new fighter jet. (Stavatti Aerospace image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) stated on Thursday (April 15) that the nation's work to develop its next-generation fighter is progressing ahead of schedule.

On Thursday, NCSIST President Chang Chung-Chung (張忠誠) confirmed that the institute is conducting research and development on a new fighter jet. He said the first phase has two components — overall design and engine production — and that both phases will be completed in 2024.

During a meeting of the Foreign and National Defense Committee that morning, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) asked the military if it had begun R&D work on the country's next-generation fighter jet. Chang responded by saying that in order to develop the aircraft, the NCSIST has split the first phase into two projects, both of which are progressing "ahead of schedule," reported UDN.

Chang stated that R&D on the production of the warplane's engine is expected to be finished by 2024 at a cost of approximately NT$8.8 billion (US$310 million). He said work on the overall design, which includes "24 key technologies," is progressing "normally" and will also conclude in 2024, costing NT$1.7 billion.

In response to reports that South Korea is investing NT$200 billion in its next generation of fighters, Tsai said this amount was "too much" but asked if NT$10 billion was adequate for Taiwan's new jet. Chang replied that R&D will be carried out in phases.

Tsai then asked if the Ministry of National Defense could allocate more funding. Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping (張哲平) responded by pledging to support the project.

In March 2017, Chang lauded the successful establishment of "Project Vega" (織女星計畫) to develop a new fighter, setting the goal of beginning production in 2027, Up Media wrote in January of this year. According to the report, designers would take the TFE-1042-70 turbofan used in Taiwan's domestically built F-CK-1 Ching-kuo and re-engineer it to achieve a thrust of 16,400 lbf (73 kN) and redub it the F125XX.

Updated : 2021-05-14 13:23 GMT+08:00