Military forces and scientific research organisations in the Asia-Pacific region will have access to a new tool later this month when Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) takes delivery of an Astra SPX midsize jet.

The Galaxy Aerospace aircraft is adapted for high-speed target towing and airborne testbed operations.

AIDC will use it to supply special missions services in the region. It chose the SPX after comprehensive evaluation of the midsize jet options.

The adaptation allows the aircraft to carry a 1,200lb (540kg) extra payload on hard points under each wing and achieve cruise speeds of up to 350kt (650km/h) with a target trailed 30,000ft (9,000m) behind the aircraft.

Operational demands from the parties who will use the AIDC service mean a range of other special features have been developed.

The aircraft will carry two reeling machines and be able to fly 200nm (370km) to a practice area, reel out a target for 15min, cruise on station with the target deployed for 1h and 30min, reel in the target for 15min and return to base with a 45min fuel reserve.

The towing systems have been supplied by Meggitt Defense Systems.

Source: Flight Daily News