AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle
|T-5 Brave Eagle|
|XAT-5 model displayed by AIDC in 2015|
|Role||Advanced jet trainer|
|Manufacturer||Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation|
|Designer||Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation and National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology|
~30m USD (inc. R&D costs)
|Developed from||AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo|
Advanced Jet Trainer Program
The Advanced Jet Trainer Program (AJT) began in the early 2000s as the Republic of China Air Force sought a replacement for its fleet of AIDC AT-3 and Northrop F-5 advanced trainers with 66 newly built aircraft. Three designs were proposed, an modernized AT-3 branded as the AT-3 MAX, an evolution of the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo called the XAT-5, or the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master. In 2014 AIDC signed a memorandum of understanding with Alenia Aermacchi to assemble the M-346 in Taiwan. The engines of all M-346 are assembled in Taiwan by the International Turbine Engine Company, a joint partnership of Honeywell and AIDC. The MOD also evaluated the South Korean KAI T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft.
In 2017 it was announced that the XAT-5 had won the tender with development and production to be undertaken by a partnership of AIDC and the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology with delivery scheduled to begin in 2026. Four prototypes are to be produced and the total program cost is projected to be TWD68.6 billion (US$2.2 billion).
AIDC has 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 are invited to submit a name with a short proposal with the winner receiving a NTD 30,000 prize. On 24 September 2019, Tsai Ing-wen officially named the new aircraft "Brave Eagle" (Yung-ying) during first prototype aircraft roll-out ceremony.
In 2017, the United States approved the export of components for 132 Honeywell/ITEC F124 engines for the XAT/AT-5. In 2018, AIDC announced that the first prototype would be rolled out in September 2019 with flight tests to start in June 2020. In 2019 Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense testified to the country’s legislature that the maiden flight is scheduled for June 2020, small scale production is to start in November 2021, and mass production is scheduled to commence March 2023.
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 advance avionics, increased fuel capacity, and 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 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.
Avionics and sensors
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 September 2019 A1 the first of four prototypes was rolled out by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
- Republic of China Air Force – 66 aircraft (planned)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Boeing T-7 Red Hawk
- Hongdu L-15
- KAI T-50 Golden Eagle
- Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master
- Yakovlev Yak-130
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