Taiwan began developing next-generation fighter jets

Taiwan is building harden shelters for its new F-16V Block 70/72 4.5 Generation aircraft. Source MoD Taiwan.

President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday Jan. 7 revealed that Taiwan is set to begin developing its next-generation fighter jet.

While speaking on Era News’ “Digital Taiwan” program, Tsai said that in the past, Taiwan aimed to develop its defense industry but lacked continuity. Now, Taiwan is ready to develop an Advanced Defense Fighter (ADF), she said.

Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) released a statement Monday afternoon, announcing the completion of the first stage of aircraft design. The prototype is expected to have its maiden flight in 2028 and mass production could start by 2031, it said.

The Indigenous Defense Fighter’s self-sufficiency rate was at 48%, the Brave Eagle trainer aircraft was at 55%, and the Brave Eagle advanced trainer jet is expected to reach 75%, according to AIDC. The ADF has the potential to reach 95%, it added.

AIDC pointed out that the development of the Brave Eagle trainer jet continues Taiwan’s policy of independent aircraft development and manufacturing.

Improving capabilities in system component manufacturing is a crucial step toward achieving higher self-sufficiency rates, AIDC said, particularly in developing the ADF. This signifies the advancement of Taiwan’s aviation beyond mere component manufacturing and subcontracting, to become a part of the international aerospace supply chain, it said.

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