Taiwan 5th-gen fighter studies

Ainen

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Wu Pao-kun, director of the ministry's Department of Strategic Planning, told a press conference that the next-generation aircraft must possess stealth characteristics and be capable of short take-offs, without elaborating.

Maj. Gen. Tang Hung-an, head of the air force command's planning division, told the same press conference that the plan to build the next-generation fighters at home is "going as scheduled."

The air force is teaming up with the National Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology and Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. on the project.

Comment/speculations: seems to be a contingency plan in case of failure to asquire the f-35b.
Apparently, project is active for some time already.
Taiwan has some actual experience in building fighters("the best aircraft state department has ever developed"(c) saulty LM), and, likely, may have US technological help, but i am sceptical.
 

Maro.Kyo

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There seems to be some active next-gen fighter jet program going on in Taiwan as well. 織女星計畫 (Project Vega) seems to be the code name. I've heard that they are planning to spend around $ 6 billion in total, of which a bit less than $ 1.6 billion for the engine program to develop an advanced variant of F125 with higher thrust.

With that money and their technology, I'm pretty sure its not going to be 5th gen but still posting here because who knows. There aren't much information public after all. I wouldn't want to start a new thread as well. Since they are getting F-16Vs, I guess its probably to replace the Mirage 2000s which reportedly has quite a few problems within the Taiwanese air force and also probably to have a safegaurd just in case US becomes reluctant of selling weapons just like in the case of few years ago.

The leaked image from several years ago shows a design of a advanced F-CK-1 with a delta wing, so maybe we would be able to see something like a F-16XL?

jR2101251506395996.jpg
 

Resister1976

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I just remember that they have tried to put radar absorbing coating on F-CK-1.
If I remember rightly……20 years ago?
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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Cramming all the necessary 5th gen features into an airframe small and light enough for 2x F125XX's (16,000 lb thrust?) is going to be difficult. Might need to consult the Swedes on that one (FS2020 studies) or sacrifice total internal weapons bay capacity. Luckily, they wouldn't have to fly far and the more they can produce the better, to counter J-20s and swarms of Gen 4+ fighters.

Were any F125s produced in Taiwan or were they all manufactured in the US? It's already a decent engine for a short range counter-air UCAV.
 

apparition13

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Cramming all the necessary 5th gen features into an airframe small and light enough for 2x F125XX's (16,000 lb thrust?) is going to be difficult. Might need to consult the Swedes on that one (FS2020 studies) or sacrifice total internal weapons bay capacity. Luckily, they wouldn't have to fly far and the more they can produce the better, to counter J-20s and swarms of Gen 4+ fighters.

Were any F125s produced in Taiwan or were they all manufactured in the US? It's already a decent engine for a short range counter-air UCAV.
The programmed update to the f125 for the second batch of F1CKs was in the 12000 pound thrust class. There was a proposed growth version with 16000 pounds of thrust, but I think that was a larger engine and wouldn't fit in the existing airframe, although I'm not positive about that.
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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Cramming all the necessary 5th gen features into an airframe small and light enough for 2x F125XX's (16,000 lb thrust?) is going to be difficult. Might need to consult the Swedes on that one (FS2020 studies) or sacrifice total internal weapons bay capacity. Luckily, they wouldn't have to fly far and the more they can produce the better, to counter J-20s and swarms of Gen 4+ fighters.

Were any F125s produced in Taiwan or were they all manufactured in the US? It's already a decent engine for a short range counter-air UCAV.
The programmed update to the f125 for the second batch of F1CKs was in the 12000 pound thrust class. There was a proposed growth version with 16000 pounds of thrust, but I think that was a larger engine and wouldn't fit in the existing airframe, although I'm not positive about that.
I didn't realize the 16,000 lbs class engine was bigger. Is there an accurate max diameter out there for the f124 or F125? Everything I've seen lists 36in but that seems big to me for an engine of that thrust level (same-ish diameter as F404). The bypass ratio is higher (better SFC) and it weighs half as much, but volume is at a premium. Considering the F124 is often placed as a replacement for the 24in Adour, seems like the F124 family core is closer to that.

I find the F124 family interesting for it's given niche, hinted growth, and of course the vary rare case of a centrifugal compressor stage being used in an engine for such intended applications.
 

supergaleb

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Doubt there is any possibility of new domestic fighter jet when they yet again just import rather then invest in domestic industry.
 

supergaleb

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Doubt there is any possibility of new domestic fighter jet when they yet again just import rather then invest in domestic industry.
Errr…what do you call AIDC then?
A company between being dead or alive as Taiwan yet again imports fighter jets and other components instead of investing in domestic arms industry which in long term is cheaper as cost of labor is cheaper in Taiwan than America and there would have been return as what is spent on it would circulate within Taiwanese economy, instead this is draining Taiwanese economy for short term fix of its problems.
 

GTX

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Taiwan yet again imports fighter jets and other components instead of investing in domestic arms industry which in long term is cheaper as cost of labor is cheaper in Taiwan than America
I think you fail to truly appreciate the level of complexity involved in producing modern combat aircraft.
 

supergaleb

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I think you fail to truly appreciate the level of complexity involved in producing modern combat aircraft.
F-CK-1 is a modern combat aircraft comparable to F-16A that could have had its avionics substantially upgraded if Taiwan invested further in its aviation industry rather than rely on and hope that America will come to rescue if there is conflict between them and mainland China thus more or less they stood still while mainland modernized rapidly and expanded while Taiwan in comparison is anemic.

From one end of Taiwan island to another at most is roughly 350 kilometers that they could have developed a single engine delta wing point defense fighter to provide some tangible counter balance to far larger PLAAF by providing a way to further deny air superiority.
 

GTX

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F-CK-1 is a modern combat aircraft comparable to F-16A that could have had its avionics substantially upgraded if Taiwan invested further in its aviation industry

A F-CK-1 is roughly comparable to an early F-16A with a slightly lower thrust to weight ratio. Again though you are underestimating what is involved in modern combat aircraft including their avionics. Moreover, keep in mind that the F-CK-1 itself relied heavily on US support to develop.
they could have developed a single engine delta wing point defense fighter
very specific there. Why a delta wing?

to provide some tangible counter balance to far larger PLAAF by providing a way to further deny air superiority.
IMHO, if I were in Taiwan, I would be more interested in investing in modern SAMs including those with ABM capabilities…
 
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supergaleb

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A F-CK-1 is roughly comparable to an early F-16A with a slightly lower thrust to weight ratio. Again though you are underestimating what is involved in modern combat aircraft including their avionics. Moreover, keep in mind that the F-CK-1 itself relied heavily on US support to develop.
very specific there. Why a delta wing?
I HO, if I were in Taiwan, I would be more interested in investing in modern SAMs including those with ABM capabilities…
F-CK-1 relied on US support, Taiwan gained experience and technology that it could have used to develop something better afterwards and when it initiated production of F-CK-1 it reduced order numbers when it should have increased it when production was ongoing.

Delta wing because advantages would outweigh disadvantages for a point defense fighter purely for defensive role of the island and by single engine I meant using same turbofan engine used by F-CK-1 for commonality parts with it thus simpler logistics to maintain it.

PRC needs large fighters like J-11/J-16 due to its vast territory while ROC has one large island and many smaller ones thus a small light delta wing fighter jet roughly half the weight of F-CK-1 would make a lot of sense, especially when optimized to lift of from regular roads from any straight road in Taiwan that neutralizing it would be difficult thus potentially provide more time for Americans to arrive.

ABM is losing battle and only worth while for defending nuclear arsenal long enough for it to be launched at opponent.

Taiwan invests in static siting duck SAMs instead of something more mobile like going for Buk style self propelled SAM system and they have just right missile for the job that is Sky Sword II that is being also being used as SAM, but on a truck with radar separate thus yet again that is static sitting duck when name of the game should be mobility, affordability and logistics.
 

GTX

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F-CK-1 relied on US support, Taiwan gained experience and technology that it could have used to develop something better afterwards and when it initiated production of F-CK-1 it reduced order numbers when it should have increased it when production was ongoing.
Oh but then that little thing called "reality" stepped in again...
and by single engine I meant using same turbofan engine used by F-CK-1 for commonality parts with it thus simpler logistics to maintain it.
So still reliant on outside support, in this case from Honeywell.
ABM is losing battle and only worth while for defending nuclear arsenal long enough for it to be launched at opponent.

So dozens of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads raining down on airbases, Defence facilities, major choke points etc is not something to defend against?
 

supergaleb

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Oh but then that little thing called "reality" stepped in again...
So still reliant on outside support, in this case from Honeywell.

So dozens of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads raining down on airbases, Defence facilities, major choke points etc is not something to defend against?
Taiwan can spend billions upon billions of USD on importing main battle tanks, fighter jets and ammunition for those yet apparently has no money to spend on its own defense industry that acquired necessary technology and funded development in whole for F-CK-1 yet it seems that is still relies on outside support when it developed domestically radar guided SAMs and AAMs along F-CK-1 based trainer.

You could place North Korea next to Taiwan and outcome would be same as with mainland China as it would be overwhelmed and end result would be same as if they had no anti ballistic missile capability in the first place to defend against those that would be firs to hit.
 

GTX

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Taiwan can spend billions upon billions of USD on importing main battle tanks, fighter jets and ammunition for those yet apparently has no money to spend on its own defense industry that acquired necessary technology and funded development in whole for F-CK-1
According to here, just under half (~48%) is spent locally which is quite a high number I would argue.
 

supergaleb

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According to here, just under half (~48%) is spent locally which is quite a high number I would argue.
Sure, but there is continental power house just across strait when those billions could have been spent buying thousands of multi-role cruise missiles that could do both land attack and anti-ship role and program them to attack land target if they don't encounter any ship during direction they were launched at.
 

stealthflanker

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Sure, but there is continental power house just across strait when those billions could have been spent buying thousands of multi-role cruise missiles that could do both land attack and anti-ship role and program them to attack land target if they don't encounter any ship during direction they were launched at.


Yeah and who will help designating targets for those missiles ? Manned aircraft, maybe stealth or even drones can do the job.
Who can provide the battle damage assessment ? aircrafts.

Most importantly.. in day-to day job in establishing your air sovereignty, will SAM's or missiles do ? No. You need again.. Aircrafts. The more capable the better it can do its job.

and who can do Air defense job without limitations of horizon ? Aircrafts. You can pick low flying cruise missiles with combination of AEW aircrafts or build an aircraft having large and powerful intercept radar. This what Russians do with MiG-31 and US with F-111B and later F-14. and soon F-15EX.

The way of thinking missiles can do everything is unfortunately not fit with reality and has been so since 1950's. The British tried to do that.. Soviet tried to do that.. It just dont work.
 

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If talking defence of Taiwan, we're talking of potentially 1800+ PLAAF vs ~380 (including trainer versions) ROCAF fighters. Therefore relying on aircraft for aerial self defence is already arguably a lost cause. Even ion the PLAAF were to only use a 1/4 of their force they would still have overmatch. Hence the argument that Taiwan needs to also consider the use of SAMs. Moreover, one is mistaken if they think such a battle would not include the use of ballistic missiles & cruise missiles, both in non-nuclear forms, hence why the mention of those with ABM capabilities as well.
 

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The thing is that Air defense is a system. Aircrafts and SAM compliment each other. One cannot prefer one types over the other. Both must be present. A prevalent mistake is thinking that SAM alone is enough for air defense which for some reason at least in forum boards and twitter become "normalized".


cruise missiles

Aircraft is arguably the best choice for cruise missile defense TBH. as it doesnt have any horizon limitations. While SAM's will shoot down any leakers that manages to went through.

So yeah. I would say Taiwan can use some 5th Gen.


Regarding overmatch argument... I'll be honest. That is beyond the scope of 5th gen or air defense. What Taiwan needs to offset the overmatch is nuclear weapons. US must put nuclear weapons in Taiwan soil or Taiwan must develop nuclear weapons and start building nuclear tipped missiles for their aircrafts and ships.
 
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GTX

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Where was it said that I was arguing for missiles alone? I just think that missiles would be a better investment given the current situation and likely scenarios. I also think that people may be mistaken if they think that any Chinese-Taiwan conflict is going to be a simple amphibious landing supported by airpower. I strongly suspect a missile led attack is likely.
 
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UpForce

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I remember visiting AIDC's website earlier - apparently it hasn't improved at all, looks really dated. Just so, so little information to go on as to what, exactly is "going as scheduled". Taiwan has enormous potential in the EW/information arena for instance so their take on "next generation" fighters/loyal wingmen could be at least slightly different and interesting.
 

Maro.Kyo

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they could have developed a single engine delta wing point defense fighter
Just goes to show how unrealistic your assessments are.

Delta wing because advantages would outweigh disadvantages for a point defense fighter purely for defensive role of the island and by single engine I meant using same turbofan engine used by F-CK-1 for commonality parts with it thus simpler logistics to maintain it.
So you essentially want a F-5E class fighter jet to be developed in early 2000s? For what? Have you ever considered why all the F-5 replacements have been significantly larger? They are at least 3 to 4 times the empty weight of F-5Es for a reason. Ever heard of F-20?

Taiwan invests in static siting duck SAMs instead of something more mobile like going for Buk style self propelled SAM system and they have just right missile for the job that is Sky Sword II that is being also being used as SAM, but on a truck with radar separate thus yet again that is static sitting duck when name of the game should be mobility, affordability and logistics.
And you even proceed to go against what RAND is suggesting Taiwan should do? Guess you also have a fellowship by some established think tank I guess, to be so bold?
 

supergaleb

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I see a pattern in here for users of this forums in general resorting to disingenuous replies based on my own experience.

Yeah and who will help designating targets for those missiles ? Manned aircraft, maybe stealth or even drones can do the job.
Who can provide the battle damage assessment ? aircrafts.
Are you asserting Taiwan doesn't have any aircrafts?

Also satellites exist and are useful for battle damage assessment on static targets.

Most importantly.. in day-to day job in establishing your air sovereignty, will SAM's or missiles do ? No. You need again.. Aircrafts. The more capable the better it can do its job.
More importantly you either didn't bother to read my replies in this thread or are intentionally disingenuously ignoring what I wrote in here as I stated that Taiwan should have produced more of its own very fighter jets because it would slow down progress of forceful unification in order for the U.S. to get involved yet if you were to acknowledge that in your reply that would render it obviously pointless to everyone.

and who can do Air defense job without limitations of horizon ? Aircrafts. You can pick low flying cruise missiles with combination of AEW aircrafts or build an aircraft having large and powerful intercept radar. This what Russians do with MiG-31 and US with F-111B and later F-14. and soon F-15EX.
Taiwan has several AEW aircrafts and there is no context of any sort for your reply to make sense unless I had to tell you something really obvious such as using AEW aircrafts that Taiwan has to you and others in here simply because I did not mention it in my replies.

The way of thinking missiles can do everything is unfortunately not fit with reality and has been so since 1950's. The British tried to do that.. Soviet tried to do that.. It just dont work.
Except nowhere I stated that missiles can do everything as evident by what I have written as it is about what is most cost effective considering huge size difference between two sides that can be described as being of biblical proportions. Taiwan is no Sparta.

If talking defence of Taiwan, we're talking of p[otentially 1800+ PLAAF vs ~380 (including trainer versions) ROCAF fighters. Therefore relying on aircraft for aerial self defence is already arguably a lost cause. Even ion the PLAAF were to only use a 1/4 of their force they would still have overmatch. Hence the argument that Taiwan needs to also consider the use of SAMs.
Primary issue is that Taiwan relies too much on importing foreign military hardware instead of producing it domestically and for currency to circulate within Taiwanese economy as it is more cost effective option in long term in order to increase military power.

Taiwan is producing AESA radars, it does not need F-16V when it could upgrade avionics of F-16A and F-CK-1 to have AESA radar and Taiwan is capable of producing optics for heat seekers thus it could produce F&F FGM-148 Javelin equivalent ATGM thus M1A2T is not necessary when vast majority if not all armored fighting vehicles are going to be light weight category.

Combined cost of procurement of F-16V and M1A2T is 9 or 10 billion USD, that is certainly enough to upgrade F-16A along F-CK-1 with AESA radar thus there would be more fighter jets with AESA radar than by just having F-16V as sole type with AESA radar.

Moreover, one is mistaken if they think such a battle would not include the use of ballistic missiles & cruise missiles, both in non-nuclear forms, hence why the mention of those with ABM capabilities as well.
This doesn't make sense as no one in here stated that there would not be ballistic and cruise missiles being used including me as I have stated that it is a losing game to invest resources in such when those will be extremely overmatched just like ROCAF against PLAAF when it comes to ballistic missiles when cruise missiles are far more potent threat to Taiwanese armed forces that needs to invest in mobile SAM systems by developing equivalent to Buk.

Just goes to show how unrealistic your assessments are.
Sure, as if there aren't enough J-7, JH-7 and J-8 fighter jets that combined there are almost two fold more of them than entire ROCAF.

Just those three models.

So you essentially want a F-5E class fighter jet to be developed in early 2000s? For what? Have you ever considered why all the F-5 replacements have been significantly larger? They are at least 3 to 4 times the empty weight of F-5Es for a reason. Ever heard of F-20?
In order: No. Against J-7, JH-7 and J-8. Yes. So what. Yes.

Have you considered that Taiwan almost went with upgrading F-5 by integrated same licensed radar as F-CK-1. That one is also used on South Korean FA-50 fighter jet that is derivative of T-50 advanced trainer jet. Singapore Brasil, United States upgraded their F-5s that allowed them comparable radar range to F-CK-1 and use of BVRAAM.

Taiwan produces the engine used in F-CK-1, has capability to produce AESA radar and has BVRAAM with range of up to 100 kilometer.

Thinking this more thoroughly, it seems viable that single engine delta wing might at least in terms of speed and range match F-CK-1.

Removing both revolver cannons, ammunition for those and reduce fuel load by 512 liters as F125 is 20% more efficient than J85.

Length of airframe can be reduced because of that and only single intake would be needed for single jet engine.

Weight reduction could be at least 1000kg and probably more, thus in the end range would be increased over F-5E Tiger II.

And you even proceed to go against what RAND is suggesting Taiwan should do?
Majority of funding that RAND receives is from the U.S. government agencies and it would be in their interest for Taiwan to buy F-16V as that would reduce cost of procurement of it and whoever there may want in American armed forces for F-16V to be adopted.

Guess you also have a fellowship by some established think tank I guess, to be so bold?
No, it is just basic mathematics and logic anyone should be capable of having that its more cost effective for Taiwan to produce not import and KMT at least used prospect of importing US arms as political leverage while DPP are bunch of clowns that will poke bear until it had it enough then shock and awe when decapitation happens as if it wasn't unprovoked in ways KMT would resort to another civil war.
 
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Maro.Kyo

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Have you considered that Taiwan almost went with upgrading F-5 by integrated same licensed radar as F-CK-1. That one is also used on South Korean FA-50 fighter jet that is derivative of T-50 advanced trainer jet. Singapore Brasil, United States upgraded their F-5s that allowed them comparable radar range to F-CK-1 and use of BVRAAM.
You seem to try to lecture people but miserably fail. First off, the radar inside the base model FA-50 is not an APG-67 variant but is a ELTA EL/M-2032; a different, and arguably, more advanced mechanical radar.

Taiwan produces the engine used in F-CK-1, has capability to produce AESA radar and has BVRAAM with range of up to 100 kilometer.
Once more you show the incompetence of yourself and only showcase that you are absolutely not knowledgeable enough about Taiwanese military technologies to claim anything. They did not and still do not have the capability to design and manufacture their own fighter jet suitable AESA radar.

Hell, their frigate project has been and is going through so many turmoil, of which large part of its troubles stems from their inability to design suitable AESA radar. For that to be the case they would need a separate R&D program, which actually does exist but is only rumored for the prototype to show up next year. You know how many years it take for a mere prototype to reach TRL 9? And mind you, you are talking about early 2000's Taiwan in your case, as opposed to how Taiwan has only now become able of achieving something material, and even that is very very primitive.

Currently their only AESA related technology which have reached TRL 9 is Smart-S like radar, the Sea Hawkeye radar which is structurally far-off from the level of technology required for an advanced fighter jet AESA, let alone other kinds of airborne AESA.

Also, that 100 kilometer range is not tracking range, since the more advanced EL/M-2032 on FA-50 have a way shorter tracking range than 100 km.
 
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shin_getter

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The thing is that Air defense is a system. Aircrafts and SAM compliment each other. One cannot prefer one types over the other. Both must be present. A prevalent mistake is thinking that SAM alone is enough for air defense which for some reason at least in forum boards and twitter become "normalized".
The recent history of air force on air force conflict had extremely lopsided and fast results in favor of the stronger side. The hope for weaker powers is that SAM and other ground based AD can be made capable of stalling a far more expensive air force.

Of course, recent history shows that ground based AD really do not have that much leverage and the only counter to a trillion dollar airforce is high hundreds of billions of dollars in air defense complexes.

Humanitarianism and nukes will have to do for weak states.....
 

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