AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle

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T-5 Brave Eagle
XAT-5 Advanced Trainer Model Display at AIDC Booth 20150815a.jpg
XAT-5 model displayed by AIDC in 2015
Role Advanced jet trainer
National origin Taiwan
Manufacturer Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation
Designer Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation and National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology
Status Development
Number built 1
Unit cost
~30m USD (inc. R&D costs)
Developed from AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo

The AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle (Yung-ying) is a supersonic advanced jet trainer under development by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) of Taiwan.


Advanced Jet Trainer Program[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2] The MOD also evaluated the South Korean KAI T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft.[3]

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).[4]


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.[5] On 24 September 2019, Tsai Ing-wen officially named the new aircraft "Brave Eagle" (Yung-ying) during first prototype aircraft roll-out ceremony.[6][7]


In 2017, the United States approved the export of components for 132 Honeywell/ITEC F124 engines for the XAT/AT-5.[8] In 2018, AIDC announced that the first prototype would be rolled out in September 2019 with flight tests to start in June 2020.[9] 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.[10]


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.[11] The aerofoil is slightly revised, with the wings being thicker than on the F-CK-1[12] in order to increase stability at low speed and low altitude as well as to provide increased fuel storage.[13] 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.[14] Meggitt will supply the main wheels, carbon brakes and brake control systems as they do on the AT-3 and F-CK-1.[15] Martin-Baker will provide the ejection seat systems.[16] 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.[17]

Avionics and sensors[edit]

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.[18] In 2019 it was announced that Pyras Technology would supply the radar and communications antennas for the platform.[13]

Service history[edit]

In September 2019 A1 the first of four prototypes was rolled out by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.[13]


In 2019 Jane’s reported that a light fighter AT-5 variant was planned to replace the Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II fleet.[19]



See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ Minnick, Wendell. "Taiwan Exhibits New Fighter Trainers at Expo". Defense News. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  2. ^ Wendell Minnick and, Tom Kington. "Taiwan Advanced Jet Trainer Nears Bidding Process". Defense News. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  3. ^ Pocock, Chris. "Taiwan Confirms Indigenous Jet Trainer Development". The Convention News Company, Inc. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  4. ^ J.R. Wu and Michael Perry, Damon Lin. "Taiwan to build 66 jet trainer aircraft by 2026 to bolster defenses". Reuters. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  5. ^ Yeh, Joseph. "Military launches naming contest for its new jets". Focus Taiwan. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Advanced Jet Trainer Rollout Ceremony". AIDC. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Taiwan unveils prototype of indigenous advanced jet trainer". Focus Taiwan. Central News Agency. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  8. ^ "TRADE REGISTERS". SIPRI. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  9. ^ Grevatt, Jon. "Taiwan starts production of XAT-5 prototype". Janes. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  10. ^ Liao, George. "Taiwan plans to start mass-producing trainer aircraft in 2023". Taiwan News. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  11. ^ Banks, Martin. "In Face of Chinese 'Aggression' Taiwan Beefs Up its Own Defenses". International Policy Digest. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Taiwan to purchase 66 advanced training airplanes". Janes. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  13. ^ a b c Choo, Roy. "PICTURE: Taiwan unveils "Brave Eagle" AJT". Flight Global. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Eaton Uses Additive Manufacturing to Supply Parts to Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation". Yahoo. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  15. ^ Staff Writer, DP. "Meggitt Begins Delivery of Braking Systems for Taiwan's AIDC XAT-5 Blue Magpie Advanced Jet Trainer". Def Post. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  16. ^ Writer, Staff. "AIDC, Martin-Baker sign deal on AJT ejection seats". Taipei Times. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  17. ^ Joseph Ye, Matt Yu and. "New trainer jets also viable in wartime: scholar". Focus Taiwan. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  18. ^ Minnick, Wendell. "Taiwan AESA Radar to Challenge International Market Share". National Interest. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  19. ^ Jennings, Gareth. "Taiwan rolls out indigenous T-5 aircraft". Retrieved 22 October 2019.