Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) is scheduled to deliver 66 advanced trainer aircraft to the government by 2026, the Ministry of National Defense said Friday.
AIDC, which developed the indigenous Ching-kuo jet fighter, has been commissioned to design and build 66 advanced jet trainers, all of which will be delivered within the next eight years, the ministry said in its Five-year Force Buildup Plan of the ROC Armed Forces.
During that period, the ministry said, AIDC will also be putting its energy into the development of large engines and key components of jet trainers and next-generation jet fighters.
On June 1, AIDC began assembly of the first of the 66 advanced jet trainers. Ground testing of the aircraft is scheduled for September 2019 and the first test flight for June 2020, according to the ministry.
The 66 advanced trainers will replace the military's 30-year-old AT-3 trainer aircraft and F-5E/F jet fighters, the ministry said.
The modernization and production of indigenous aircraft and submarines has been high on the agenda of President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) administration since she came to power in May 2016.
In the face of China's growing military might, Taiwan must overhaul its self-defense capabilities and military projects to beef up its basic and asymmetric warfare capability as part of its efforts to keep Chinese communist forces at bay, according to the ministry.