Taiwan: T-5 Brave Eagle trainer jet conducts first flight

On June 10, Taiwan’s new combat-capable advanced jet trainer T-5 Brave Eagle flew for the first time today, as part of a series of preliminary flight tests ahead of the official first flight, June 22.

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Taiwan T 5 Brave Eagle trainer conducts first flight T-5 Brave Eagle takes off for its maiden flight at the Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung on June 10, 2020 (Picture source: Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense)

The flight took place at the Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung on June 10. During the flight, the aircraft was accompanied by two Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo multirole combat aircraft.

The T-5 Brave Eagle program was born from a joint collaboration between the National Institute of Science and Technology Chung-Shan (NCSIST), the ROCAF and the AIDC. The $ 2.2 billion program aims to replace ROCAF's AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung and Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II fleets, which serve as advanced trainers and lead-in fighter trainers (LIFT) respectively.

The production of 66 aircraft for the ROKAF is expected to begin in November 2021 and will last over a six-year period.