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Tsai lauds inaugural flight of indigenous advanced jet trainer

TAIPEI, Taiwan, (Taiwan Today) — President Tsai Ing-wen said June 22 that the maiden flight of a new domestically-developed advanced jet trainer marks a milestone in Taiwan’s aerospace industry while highlighting government efforts to strengthen national defense capabilities.

The president made the remarks during a ceremony celebrating the inaugural flight of AJT Yung Ying, or Brave Eagle, at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in central Taiwan’s Taichung City. Tsai also praised the event as an important moment in Taiwan history following the Ching-kuo Indigenous Defense Fighter’s first flight in 1989.

Developed by the ROC (Taiwan) Air Force in collaboration with Taoyuan City-based National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology and Taichung-headquartered Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, Brave Eagle proves the country’s manufacturing prowess and advancement in aerospace technology, Tsai said.

The AJT project has generated more than 2,000 jobs since its launch in 2017, helping cultivate the sector’s next generation of talent, she added.

Designed to streamline the training process, the Brave Eagle is inexpensive to maintain and easily upgraded, Tsai said, adding that the aircraft plays a vital role in the government’s policy to develop self-reliance in national defense.

According to Tsai, the aircraft has already cleared required preflight assessments but still needs to go through structural fatigue tests to ensure it will be operational for at least 30 years, or 8,000 flight hours.

After the prototype of the new AJT was first unveiled last September, AIDC said it aims to deliver a total of 66 aircraft by 2026. The model is expected to replace the aging AT-3 and F-5 E/F jet trainers currently in use. (YCH-E)



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