Taiwan has begun flight-testing the upgraded C/D version of its F-CK-1 Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF) with a new digital flight control computer supplied by BAE Systems. The C/D is the first major upgrade of the IDF since the locally designed and developed lightweight fighter entered Taiwanese air force service in 1993.

Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) built 130 IDFs, delivering the last A/B Ching-kuo version in 1999. The C/D upgrade, also known as Shiang-Seng, was launched in 2001, and includes additional fuel, improved avionics and electronic-warfare systems and expanded weapons capability.

Taiwan's Indigenous Defense Fighter during its rec
 Photo: Business Wire

 Taiwan's Indigenous Defense Fighter during its recent first flight

The first C/D prototype is believed to have flown in October. BAE says only that its new 32-bit digital flight control computer “recently completed its first flight” on the IDF C/D, releasing a picture of the aircraft – tail number 10005 – on its first flight.

Replacing the IDF A/B’s 16-bit computer, the new 32-bit processor is faster, more reliable and “integrates easily with the aircraft’s air data, avionics and head-up display systems,” says BAE, adding that Taiwan plans to use the new computer to upgrade existing IDFs “and on new-build aircraft”.

Source: Flight Daily News