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AIDC F-CK-1 (Ching-Kuo) / (Indigenous Defence Fighter)

Lightweight Multirole Fighter Aircraft

AIDC F-CK-1 (Ching-Kuo) / (Indigenous Defence Fighter)

Lightweight Multirole Fighter Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo represents a largely indigenous Taiwanese fighter development with capabilities comparable to that of the F-16 Fighting Falcon line.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Taiwan
YEAR: 1994
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) - Taiwan
PRODUCTION: 130
OPERATORS: Taiwan
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the AIDC F-CK-1 (Ching-Kuo) / (Indigenous Defence Fighter) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1 or 2
LENGTH: 46.62 feet (14.21 meters)
WIDTH: 31.04 feet (9.46 meters)
HEIGHT: 14.50 feet (4.42 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 14,330 pounds (6,500 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 26,896 pounds (12,200 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x ITEC (Honeywell/AIDC) TFE1042-70 (F125) turbofan engines developing 9,500lb of thrust with afterburner.
SPEED (MAX): 1,379 miles-per-hour (2220 kilometers-per-hour; 1,199 knots)
RANGE: 684 miles (1,100 kilometers; 594 nautical miles)
CEILING: 55,118 feet (16,800 meters; 10.44 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 50,000 feet-per-minute (15,240 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
1 x 20mm M61A1 six-barreled Gatling internal cannon.

OPTIONAL:
Mission-specific ordnance can include:

Short-range and medium-range Air-to-air/air-to-surface guided/homing missiles and guided/freefall bombs.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• F-CK-1 "Ching-Kuo" - Base Series Designation
• A Series - Four prototypes from A-1 to A-4
• F-CK-1A - Initial single-seat air defence fighter.
• F-CK-1B - Initial twin-seat strike fighter.
• F-CK-1C - Upgraded single-seat air defence fighter
• F-CK-1D - Upgraded twin-seat strike fighter
• IDF "LIFT" - Lead-In Fighter Trainer; proposed two-seat advanced trainer with full-strike capabilities.
• XT-5 - Two-seat advanced trainer form


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the AIDC F-CK-1 (Ching-Kuo) / (Indigenous Defence Fighter) Lightweight Multirole Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/21/2018. Authored by Dan Alex. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The AIDC F-CK-1 ("Fighter, Ching-Kuo 1") is a modern lightweight fighter developed by Taiwanese aerospace industry - the most ambitious internal development for the small island nation to date. The type serves as an air defense fighter intended to counter aggression from neighboring China and has become a capable indigenous platform comparable to the General Dynamics (now Lockheed) F-16 Fighting Falcon and Northrop F-5 Tiger fighter series. The F-CK-1 maintains an active - albeit limited - presence in the Republic of China Air Force (RCAF) amongst a stable of other Western aircraft lines. The aircraft was named after former Taiwanese president Chiang Ching-Kuo who served in that role from 1978 into 1988 and was the son of President Chiang Kai-shek of World War 2 fame.

The F-CK-1 was born out of an indigenous initiative when sales of American General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons and Northrop F-20 Tigersharks were blocked by the US government (then attempting to improve their relations with Asian powerhouse China, Taiwan's natural enemy). Ironically, it was the Northrop F-20 - an improved form of the F-5 Tiger - that was specifically developed to help supplement the existing stable of Taiwanese fighters including the F-5. With little option, Taiwanese aerospace industry began research into a in-house solution intended to break the reliance on Western parties for future military needs. The program became the "Indigenous Defence Fighter" (IDF) which netted a first flight, of what would become the F-CK-1 "Ching-Kuo", on May 28th, 1989. Production of the aircraft was handled by Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) with initial deliveries beginning in 1994. Despite an initial requirement for several hundred aircraft, only 130 of the type would be produced into 1999.

For the island nation, the F-CK-1 endeavor was a very far-reaching program involving all manner of participants. Design work began in May of 1982 and, despite the US government's stance against direct sales of fighters to Taiwan, American companies were still free to offer the much-needed technical assistance required in bringing an advanced airframe online - from avionics software to aerodynamic challenges and armaments integration to powerplant development. A primary US defense contractor became General Dynamics which was already the brand label of the heralded F-16. As such, the F-16 influence was clear in the finalized F-CK-1 form particularly in the use of blended wing root/fuselage design concept, general wing shaping (complete with wingtip launchers) and the use of a single vertical tail fin.

AlliedSignal (now Honeywell) assisted the International Turbofan Engine Company (ITEC) in designing and developing a suitable powerplant for the new fighter. As in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-CK-1 featured a cockpit with HUD (Head-Up Display) and HOTAS (Hands-On Throttle and Stick) controls. The radar system (housed in the nosecone) was an evolved version of the APG-67 series that was to be fielded in the F-20 Tigershark (while also being related to the APG-66 utilized in the F-16). The X-band pulse Doppler system (designated as the "Golden Dragon 53" or "GD-53") allowed for accurate tracking and engagement of targets oversea and overland with a range of 35 miles, optimized for use with the locally-developed "Skysword I" and "Skysword II" missiles - each (respectively) mimicking the American AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range and AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range air-to-air missiles. The missiles were developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST).

For all its advanced features, the aircraft took on a rather conventional design shape featuring a well-contoured fuselage with the forward-mounted cockpit situated aft of the radar housing. The blended wing roots formed nicely along the wing assemblies with rearward swept leading edges and slightly forward-swept trailing edges. There were a pair of tailplanes straddling the engine installations with the vertical tail fin mounted between each engine bulge. Unlike the F-16, the F-CK-1 was given 2 x turbofan engines, each aspirated at the front through very defined elliptical intakes and exhausting at the rear via circular ports of traditional design. The undercarriage was of a typical tricycle arrangement featuring a pair of single-wheeled main legs and a single-wheeled nose leg.

The F-CK-1 was powered through 2 x Honeywell F125-70 series turbofan engines, each delivering 9,500lbs of thrust. This provided the airframe with a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 and operational range of 680 miles with a service ceiling of 55,000 feet.




For standard armament, the F-CK-1 followed Western design guidelines in instituting 1 x 20mm M61A1 Gatling internal cannon (of American design) for close-in work. In the air defense role, the aircraft could carry up to 4 x Sky Sword I and Sky Sword II missiles to counter short- and medium-ranged threats as required. Provisions were added for launching of the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missile as well as the Hsuing Feng II series anti-ship missile. As with all modern multirole platforms, the F-CK-1 could also make use of guided or freefall munitions as needed. The inboard underwing hardpoints are further "plumbed" to accept conventional fuel drop tanks in increasing the aircraft's operation range.

With its first flight in 1989, the initial F-CK-1 prototype was followed by three more under the A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-4 designations. A-1 incurred damage during a very public landing attempt while A-2 was lost altogether during a Mach 1 trials test. Ten preproduction airframes (in effect making up the first operational F-CK-1 squadron) were then added and tested amidst rising program costs. The first production quality airframe was delivered to the Taiwanese Air Force in January of 1994. The line was broadened between the base single-seater fighter (as the "F-CK-1A") and the two seat form (as the "F-CK-1B").

The Taiwanese government had originally planned to procure 256 F-CK-1 fighters though this requirement was ultimately slashed when the US arms restrictions were ultimately lifted, allowing purchases of the F-16 Fighting Falcon through the Block 20 A/B variants. Taiwan eventually purchased 150 of the type. These were also followed by the procurement of 50 French-made Dassault Mirage 2000-5 multirole aircraft.

In 2001, the Taiwanese government enacted a program to upgrade the Ching-Kuo line with the ultimate goal of increasing its operational range, radar capabilities, improving avionics and extending armament options. Two prototypes were made ready in 2006, unveiled publically in a 2007 showing and tested with success. Under the modifications, the aircraft would be replacing the original A/B models with the F-CK-1C and F-CK-1D designations. However, purchases of additional, more modern, F-16s postponed any near-future commitment to the advanced Ching-Kuo. In 2009, the Taiwanese government finally announced that the F-CK-1C and D upgraded models would be realized, these forms expected to appear in circulation from 2013 onwards.

The F-CK-1 has not been offered up for export, keeping Taiwan as its only operator.

February 2017 - It was announced that the F-CK-1 will be turned into a two-seat advanced trainer for the Taiwanese Air Force. The aircraft will be designated as "XT-5" and a first flight is scheduled for sometime in 2020. Once in service, the series will replace the aging line of AIDC AT-3 trainers and Northrop F-5 lightweight fighters. Sixty-six aircraft are part of an initial requirement.




MEDIA







General Assessment (BETA)
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating (BETA)
40
The MF Power Rating takes into account over sixty individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1400mph
Lo: 700mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,379mph).

    Graph average of 1050 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the AIDC F-CK-1A (Ching-Kuo)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
130
130

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of a medium-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft Gatling-style rotating gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.