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Air force to take delivery of upgraded IDF jet fighters

2011/06/25 21:55:57

Taipei, June 25 (CNA) Taiwan will receive a boost to its air defense capability once the Air Force takes delivery of a first batch of upgraded Ching-kuo indigenous defense fighters (IDFs) late this month, military sources said Saturday.

Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) spokesman Lee Shih-chang confirmed earlier in the day that the company is scheduled to hold a delivery ceremony June 30 at its factory complex in Shalu in central Taiwan's Taichung City, in which an upgraded IDF jet fighter will be delivered to the Air Force as a symbol of the completion of the warplane's mid-life upgrade project.

"It's big happy event for our company and we have sent invitations to high-ranking Air Force personnel and other authorities to witness the ceremony," Lee said.

According to media reports, the state-run AIDC has collaborated with the Air Force to complete the upgrading of more than 70 of the Ching-kuo IDF jet fighters at a total cost of NT$17 billion (US$586.21 million).

The upgraded aircraft belong to Air Force 443 Wing, which operates out of Tainan air base in southern Taiwan, the reports said, adding that the upgrade gives the jet stronger air-to-surface attack power.

The locally built IDFs are better known as Ching-kuo jet fighters in memory of the late President Chiang Ching-kuo. (Emmanuelle Tzeng and Sofia Wu)