It was developed as the Indigenous Defence Fighter, though it was a joint effort between Taiwanese (ROC) and U.S. Defense companies. As a result many aspects of the aircraft were influenced by F-16 Fighting Falcon, as well as F-5 (also used by the ROC). The major U.S. engineering and development subcontractors were General Dynamics (F-16 designer), Hughes, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation who worked with Taiwanese counter parts. Other parts were directly purchased from Lear Astronics (Later BAE), Litton (Later Northrop Grumman), and Martin-Baker. Final assembly was by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation based in Taichung, in ROC.
The IDF program started when purchase of the F-20 Tigershark ran into political problems. The preliminary search for ROCAF's F-5 and F-104 replacement began in the late 1970s. After US established formal relation with People's Republic of China and ended the Mutual Defense Treaty with Taiwan, President Chiang Ching-Kuo decided to expand the indigenous defense industry and ordered AIDC to work on an indigenous high-speed interceptor.
In 1988, ITEC decided to invest in the 12000 lb TFE-1088-12, which was re-designated as TFE-1042-70A. Preliminary study had shown that IDF could supersonic cruise with the new engine. At the same time, GE decided to enter the market with J101/SF, a smaller version of F404. However after the IDF order was cut in half from 250 to 130 in 1992, the TFE-1088-12 engine upgrade plan ended as well. Since then, there are many rumors of AIDC completing engine upgrade research in private, but no direct public announcement of IDF fleet engine upgrade was ever made officially by either ROCAF or AIDC.
Like Tien Lei, the Tien Chien project is shrouded in secrecy. CSIST's Tien Chien is somewhat a more independent plan, since it is considered by some officials to be a development for all ROCAF aircraft rather than IDF only. Tien Chien 1 (TC-1) is a short range IR missile similar to AIM-9 external configuration. Tien Chien 2 (TC-2) is an active radar homing Beyond Visual Ranage missile claimed to be in the AIM-120 class.
40 pre-production TC-2s were produced in response to the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Missile Crisis, as part of many emergency measures. 210 production TC-2s are planned. The production status and timeline is unknown.
Length: 14.21 m (46 ft 7 in)
Look down: 39 km (24 mi)
(This text was adapted from http://www.wikipedia.org/ )(GFDL)
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