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AIDC F-CK-1 Ching Kuo

Multi-role fighter

F-CK-1 Ching Kuo fighter

The AIDC F-CK-1 Ching Kuo was indigenously developed in Taiwan with US assistance

Country of origin Taiwan
Entered service 1994
Crew 1 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 14.21 m
Wing span 8.53 m
Height 4.65 m
Weight (empty) 6.48 t
Weight (maximum take off) 12.2 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x ITEC TFE-1042-70 furbofans
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 2 x 26.8 / 42.08 kN
Maximum speed 1 275 km/h
Service ceiling 16.8 km
Range 1 100 km
Cannon 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon
Missiles AIM-9P air-to-air missile, Thien Chien I/II air-to-air missiles, Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles
Bombs Mk 80-series bombs, laser-guided bombs, cluster munitions


   Taiwan's ambitious programme to develop an advanced fighter to replace its fleet of F-5s and F-104s began in 1982, after the US government placed an embargo on the sale of the Northrop F-20, General Dynamics F-16, and any comparable fighter. The same restrictions were not placed on technical assistance, however, and US aerospace companies have collaborated closely with AIDC to develop an indigenous fighter and weapons system. Assistance has been provided by General Dynamics (airframe), Garrett (propulsion), Westinghouse (radar) and a Smiths Industries-led team (avionics).

   The F-CK-1 Ching Kuo resembles a US F-16 multi-role fighter. The aircraft is equipped with a Golden Dragon GD-53 multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar based on the AN/APG-67(V) developed for the F-20, but incorporating some technology from the Westinghouse AN/APG-66 unit used by the F-16A.

   Of mostly conventional all-metal construction, the Ching Kuo is of conventional configuration, albeit with wing/fuselage blending. The pilot sits on a Martin-Baker Mk 12 ejection seat and the pressurized cockpit is fitted with a sidestick controller, a wide-angle head-up display, and three multi-function look-down displays.

   The first prototype made its maiden flight on 28 May 1989, and on 10 February 1994, the Republic of China Air Force's No7 Squadron publicly unveiled its aircraft, which included two production single-seaters (designated F-CK-1A) and two production two-seater conversion trainers (F-CK-1B). In March 1993, the country's legislature announced that procurement would be limited to only 130 aircraft, to equip two, instead of the planned four, wings. The final two aircraft were delivered in 2000. AIDC seeks government approval to offer a downgraded version of the two-seater Ching Kuo for export as a lead-in/advanced fighter trainer. This would not retain radar, internal gun or electronic counter measures systems.

   In 2013 it was reported that 71 Taiwanese Ching Kuo aircraft out of 120 operational will be upgraded. These will be compatible with new missiles with cluster warheads. These missiles have a range of 200 km and carry 100 submunitions.


F-CK-1 Ching Kuo fighter

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F-CK-1B Ching Kuo trainer

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F-CK-1 Ching Kuo fighter

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