Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) plans to present a proposal to develop an advanced jet trainer based on its F-CK-1 fighter to the island's air force, and aims to work with international partners on the programme.
The company hopes to get the nod to within a year to develop the aircraft, which will replace the AIDC AT-3s the air force inducted in the 1980s. The Taiwan air force hopes to begin the replacement within the next five years.
"To meet the air force pilot training requirement, AIDC launched an indigenous advanced trainer development programme in late 2006. The conceptual design phase has successfully finished, and AIDC is also looking for international co-operation to facilitate the programme," says George Shiah, president of AIDC.
"The government has started to look into this requirement and there are several options on the table. What is clear is that this will be an urgent need. We have presented our ideas to the air force and we hope to come up with a formal proposal within the next month. Whatever we come up with must meet the air force's requirements."
Shiah believes that the air force would eventually start to look for replacements for its Beechcraft T-34s, but this will take longer than the five years that mooted for the AJT.