Defense Minister Feng Shikuan said in January 2017 that the National Army will develop a new generation of fighters. It was reported that the National Army planned to have a new generation of fighters with the ability to hide. The Chinese Academy of Sciences was also researching and reforming IDF fighter engines, hoping for a new generation Fighter propulsion system. However, the time limit for "the national warplane" hasdnot yet been determined. The informed officials pointed out that the Ministry of National Defense will first promote the advanced trainer, the primary trainer and the country to create a two-item "training", to accumulate talent, technology, and industrial energy, and then promote a new generation of fighter aircraft development.
Regarding the performance of a new generation of national warfare aircraft, the relevant officials pointed out that although the new generation of fighter technology is still unknown, it is determined that the design of the disappearance is the trend of the fifth-generation fighters today. However, with the ever-changing technology, there will be more trend-oriented technologies.
Feng Shikuan said that the Ministry of National Defense also had a commitment to the Chinese people to develop the next generation of stealth fighters. The next generation of fighters currently being developed by the Ministry of Defense has dual engines. The engine is based on the TFE-1042-70 engine used by the country. It is currently being researched and modified by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to become the propulsion system for the next generation of fighters.
The Tsai government hopes to use Taiwan’s good manufacturing capabilities to strengthen the local defense industry, and ultimately enable Taiwan to better respond to the continuous expansion of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. As Taiwan’s defense budget shrank during the predecessor Ma Ying-jeou’s presidency, Tsai Ing-wen promised to increase defense spending by 20% to NT$381.7 billion (US$12.5 billion) by 2025.
The Tsai government hopes to defend Taiwan's waters and airspace. For Taiwan to repel amphibious attacks, submarines will be indispensable, especially because China lacks anti-submarine equipment. If Taiwan has a better-performing military aircraft, it can prevent the Chinese People's Liberation Army from gaining superiority over Taiwan, or at least it can delay China's air superiority before the U.S. military arrives as expected. Taiwan is also developing an advanced jet trainer to replace the 30-year-old model.
Defending Taiwan’s seas and territories during an offensive by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is certainly an arduous task, but it is even more difficult to defend the security of the airspace. Taiwan’s fighter fleet is getting old, and Chinese bombers and spy planes often invade Taiwan’s airspace, putting Taiwan’s air force under pressure. In its April report, the "Asia Times" pointed out that every time a Chinese military aircraft approaches, Taiwan’s military aircraft must take off to intercept and monitor. Therefore, Taiwan's military aircraft need to be repaired more often.
In terms of numbers, the Taiwan Air Force is insignificant compared to the Chinese Air Force. China has 1,700 fighter jets, and only loses to the United States, which has 3,400 fighter jets, in the world. The Taiwan Air Force has only 286 fighters, which is a big gap. Taiwan cannot compare with the Chinese Air Force in terms of numbers. A better way is to use fighters with technological advantages to wipe out enemy aircraft. If the number of such fighters is sufficient, Taiwan can make China pay a high price when launching an air offensive.
Taiwan intends to build its own advanced fighter jets. In January 2017, the Ministry of National Defense announced that it would develop a new generation of local fighters with concealment capabilities. Fei Xueli said: "It takes a lot of money to develop fighter jets and complex and expensive components in China. Taiwan traditionally tends to avoid doing this. Linking to the U.S. logistics support system can theoretically make the U.S. a lot of money in the event of a war. Quickly provide fighters and parts to Taiwan."
Fei Xueli said that Taiwan’s new national fighter plan is to counter China’s increasingly progressive fighters, such as the J-10 and J-16. In his view, Taiwan has reached a conclusion that it cannot rely on the United States alone to meet the needs of the Taiwan Air Force. Therefore, it is investing considerable resources in the development of components for a new generation of national-made fighters. He also said that the United States can sell effective fighter turbofan engines to help Taiwan.
The United States may sell F-35 fighters to Taiwan. Its performance is better than any Chinese fighter plane, but Fei Xueli said that if the United States does not sell the F-35 to Taiwan, it needs to provide alternative fighter plans to help Taiwan defend itself.
The "Taiwan-U.S. Defense Industry Conference", a platform for military exchanges between Taiwan and the United States, will be held in Princeton, New Jersey, USA from 15th to 17th October 2017. The Taiwan delegation was led by Zhang Guanqun, Deputy Minister of Arms of the Ministry of National Defense. In addition to in-depth exchanges with the United States on national shipbuilding, strengthening of information security protection, and construction of the defense industry, Taiwan once again explored the possibility of purchasing a new generation of fighters, as well as "potential Experience exchange and even "technical exchange" opinions and cooperation space.
Based on the past experience of the "Taiwan-U.S. Defense Industry Conference," Taiwan's delegation had repeatedly asked the United States would help me build underwater combat capabilities and a new generation of fighters. It was reported that Taiwan intended to purchase F-35B fighters from the United States, but the United States was not willing. Although Taiwan still make requests this year, Taiwan also inquired about other requirements that meet the requirements of "short-field take-off and landing, concealment, new electronic reconnaissance systems, and combat radius." "Higher" new fighters, or other alternatives for establishing the next generation of air combat.
However, the military and those who are about to attend the meeting are reluctant to disclose the plans for the new generation of air forces that my country wants to explore, or other details about the procurement of military weapons. However, a person familiar with the matter pointed out that in addition to the arms purchase project, our side intends to strengthen "technical exchanges" this year, learn from the opinions and experience of the United States, and explore the possibility of substantive cooperation.
Art Chang, president of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, the military's top research unit, said 15 April 2021 that a new generation of indigenous fighter jets is currently under development, with the engine and overall design expected to be finalized in 2024. Responding to a question from Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tsai Shih-ying during an appearance at the Legislature, along with Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng, Chang said the new jets are in the first stage of development, which consists of parallel work on the engine and overall design.
DPP legislator Tsai adapts to concerns about whether the national army has launched the next-generation fighter research and development case. Zhang Zhongzheng confirmed in reply that in order to develop the next-generation fighter, the Chinese Academy of Sciences currently has two research and development projects in the first phase, namely overall design and engine manufacturing. The current progress is normal. Zhang Zhongcheng pointed out that the first-stage research and development project for engine manufacturing is expected to be completed in 2024  with a budget of approximately NT$8.8 billion. The current progress is advanced; the overall design is also closed in 113 with a budget of about 1.7 billion and includes 24 key technologies.
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 was still in the testing phase. Both are manufactured by the government-funded Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC).
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