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AIDC Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) - Taiwan, 2021

Detailing the development and operational history of the AIDC Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Lightweight Advanced Jet Trainer / Light Strike Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 11/9/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  AIDC Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT)  
Picture of AIDC Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT)

Despite its resemblance to the existing AIDC F-CK-1 fighter product, the Advanced Jet Trainer will be upwards of 80-percent an all-new design.

AIDC of Taiwan is in the process of developing the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) to succeed its aging line of AT-3 jets also produced by the company. The AJT is based on the existing AIDC F-CK-1 "Ching-kuo" fighter aircraft framework currently (2017) in service with the Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan) but will be 80% its own design - taking just the general form of the F-CK-1 and a few other qualities. The project hopes to produce fruit by 2021 at which point it is expected that most of the AT-3 fleet will be either fully retired or on its way out.

The AJT is set to be powered by 2 x Honeywell /TECF124 series low-bypass, non-afterburning turbofan engines. These have roots in the civilian market TFE731 engine and the afterburning version of the same system is the F125 - the engine that powers the aforementioned F-CK-1 fighter in a side-by-side arrangement. The F124 engines will require a larger fuselage to house the pairing that what is seen on the F-CK-1.

As a trainer aircraft, the AJT will not feature radar in its nose section but will retain the general form of the nose as seen in the F-CK-1 fighter. The crew of two will sit in tandem under a long-running, unobstructed canopy set ahead of midships. A single vertical tail fin will be featured aft (as in the F-CK-1) between the two exhaust ports. The general appearance of both the wing mainplanes and tailplanes of the F-CK-1 will be largely retained though the former is set to feature thicker chord. More internal volume will allow for more internal fuel to be carried and therefore allow the aircraft to remain aloft longer. Up to 10% of the construction of the aircraft is set to feature lightweight composites and the avionics fit will be provided through BAe Systems with locally-developed software to boot.

Development work on the AJT began in April of 2017 and is expected to span four years, encompassing tests, flight testing and formal evaluations. A first-flight is tentatively scheduled for 2020 and deliveries are set to begin soon after. It is expected that the ROCAF will secure about sixty-six of the new trainers to replace its AT-3 stock which currently numbers forty-nine in inventory (2017).

Dimensions and performance values presented on this page are estimated on the part of the author. They will be revised as additional information on the AJT is released by the manufacturer.

AIDC AJT Specifications

Service Year: 2021
Status: In-Development
Type: Lightweight Advanced Jet Trainer / Light Strike Aircraft
National Origin: Taiwan
Manufacturer(s): Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) - Taiwan
Total Production: 0

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 2
Overall Length: 47.57 feet (14.5 meters)
Overall Width: 30.35 feet (9.25 meters)
Overall Height: 14.44 feet (4.40 meters)

Weight (Empty): 9,921 lb (4,500 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 16,535 lb (7,500 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 2 x Honeywell F124 non-afterburning turbofan engines developing an 6,250lb of thrust each (estimated).

Maximum Speed: 556 knots (640 mph; 1,030 kph)
Maximum Range: 729 nautical miles (839 miles; 1,350 km)
Service Ceiling: 42,651 feet (13,000 meters; 8.08 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 9,500 feet-per-minute (2,896 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload

Unknown as of this writing. Typical loads for trainer aircraft of this type include practice bombs, rocket pods and fuel tanks.

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Taiwan (planned)

Model Variants

Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) - Base Project Name.

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