Taipei, April 15 (CNA) The head of the military's top research unit said Thursday that a new generation of indigenous fighter jets is currently under development, with the engine and overall design expected to be finalized in 2024.
Art Chang (張忠誠), president of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, made the comments during an appearance at the Legislature, along with Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正).
Responding to a question from Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應), Chang said the new jets are in the first stage of development, which consists of parallel work on the engine and overall design.
In total, the government has allocated NT$8.8 billion (US$309.5 million) to develop the new engines and NT$1.7 billion for the aircraft's design, both of which are expected to be completed in 2024, he said.
Chang did not state in the hearing when the project as a whole will be completed or when the jets are expected to go into service.
Currently, Taiwan's locally developed military aircraft include the decades-old Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) and the new advanced jet trainer (AJT), or "Brave Eagle," which is still in the testing phase. Both are manufactured by the government-funded Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC).