The Taiwanese Ching-Kuo Fighter is developed and manufactured by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation based in Taichung. The aircraft is also referred to as the Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF). The Ching-Kuo is an all-weather, multi-role fighter and is built in one-seater and two-seater configurations.
Ching-Kuo fighter programme
The programme to develop the aircraft, known as the An Hsiang or Safe Flight programme, started in 1982 with identification of the requirements for an air-superiority fighter. The rollout ceremony of the first prototype took place in December 1988, when the aircraft was named after the late President Chiang Ching-Kuo. The Ching-Kuo made its first flight in May 1989.
AIDC F-CK-1A/B Ching Kuo Indigenous Defense Fighter
Taiwan initiated development of the Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) started in May 1982, after the U.S. government refused to sell F-16 and F-20 to Taiwan. The Aero Industry Development Center (AIDC) under ROCAF was in charge of the program formlly launched in 1983, which was codenamed “An Hsiang” (Safe Flight). An Hsiang consisted of the following four development projects:
- “Ying Yang” (Soaring Eagle): airframe development,
- “Yun Han” (Cloud Han): engine development,
- “Tien Lei” (Sky Thunder): avionics development, and
- “Tien Chien” (Sky Sword): air-to-air missile development.
Though an indigenous program, development of IDF involved considerable assistance from the following U.S. companies: General Dynamics (airframe), Garrett (engine), and General Electric (radar).
F-CK-1A 10001 (11/26/2000) – taiwanairpower.org
The first prototype 10001, commonly referred to as A-1 within AIDC by its construction number, was rolled out on December 10, 1988, in a ceremony at AIDC presided over by then President Lee Teng-Hui, and the aircraft was formally named “Ching Kuo”, in memory of the late President Chiang Ching-Kuo. Ministry of National Defense subsequently designated it F-CK-1, where F stands for Fighter, CK for Ching Kuo, and 1 for the first domestically developed fighter.
F-CK-1A 10003 (11/26/2000) – Image: taiwanairpower.org
To prepare for the first flight, AIDC conducted the First Flight Readiness Review (FFRR) from January 9 to 19, 1989, during which 123 items for improvement or for further clarification were identified, most of which were attributed to the Digital Flight Control System (DFCS). After weeding out these problems, AIDC set the date for the maiden flight, codenamed “Jen Yang” Exercise, on May 28, 1989. With F-5F 5391 and AT-3 0825 acting as chase aircraft, IDF 10001 successfully took off for the first time at 1021 hours in the hand of AIDC’s test pilot Colonel Kang-Ming Wu. Although the first flight was scheduled to last for one hour, it was cut short when the ground control received a fault warning signal. IDF 10001 landed safely at 1043 hours, ending the 22-minute maiden flight.
This is the front view of the prototype IDF 10003. Note that the main undercarriage legs are slightly canted outwards. Image: taiwanairpower.org
A total of four prototypes were built. The first three, 10001 A-1, 10002 A-2, and 10003 A-3, were single-seat aircraft and wore a blue-white-red color scheme. Prototype number four, 10004 B-1, was a two-seater. It was also the only prototype that was painted in camouflage. Prototype Nos. 2, 3, and 4 made their first flights on September 27, 1989, January 10, 1990, and July 10, 1990, respectively.
F-CK-1B 10004 (11/26/2000) – Image: taiwanairpower.org
Work on the ten pre-production aircraft (six single-seat, four two-seat) started in October, 1990, and were delivered during 1992-1993. The proposed number of IDF built was slashed from 250 to 130, with 28 two-seat aircraft, after the Bush administration agreed to sell 150 Block 20 F-16A/B to Taiwan. The first production was handed to ROCAF in January, 1994.
The six pre-production single-seat IDF has a three-piece canopy, with a fixed windscreen, a rear section, and a port-hinged middle section. Image: taiwanairpower.orgAll production single-seaters feature a single-piece upward-hinged canopy. Image: taiwanairpower.org
The fuselage of IDF closely resembles F-16 and F/A-18 since the program has received assistance from U.S defense contractors. The cockpit is very similar to that of F-16, with the sidestick controller on the right, the throttles on the left, and the Martin-Baker Mk 12 zero/zero ejection seat sloped at thirty degrees. There is one Elbit HUD, two Bendix MFDs, and Honeywell H423 inertial navigation system. Allied Signals’ AiResearch Division helped design the environment control system. Canopies on preproduction aircraft and two-seaters are hinged on starboard side and open to port; while those on production single-seat aircraft are hinged on the rear and open upward. Source taiwanairpower.org
F-16 Fighting Falcon: Details
Mitsubishi F-2: Details
Taiwan begin upgrade of F-16A/B to F-16V configuration: Here
Ching-Kuo air superiority fighters are operational in the RoC Air Force of Taiwan (Republic of China) since January 2000 and the last of a total of 130 entered service in July 2000.
AIDC has developed an upgrade package which includes a digital cockpit, upgraded radar and countermeasures. BAE Systems supplied the new 32-bit digital flight control computer. Two F-CK-1 prototypes were upgraded to F-CK-1 C/D in 2006. The upgraded C/D aircraft made its first flight in October 2006. It was renamed as F-CK-1 C/D Hsiung Ying (Brave Hawk) in 2007. Other improvements in the upgrade package included increased internal fuel capacity, improved avionics, renovated electronic warfare capabilities and strengthened landing gear. Production of the C/D version began in 2009 as part of the $588m Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) programme.
AIDC will upgrade the initial 71 of 130 IDFs under the MLU programme. The first batch of six upgraded F-CK-1 C/D IDFs were delivered to the ROCAF in June 2011. The remaining 65 are expected to be delivered by the end of 2012.
F-CK-1D prototype (“Brave Hawk”) with CFT
The aircraft has an integrated avionics and weapons control system.
A 20mm M61A Vulcan cannon is installed on the starboard side of the fuselage with a Photo-Sonics gun camera.
20mm M61A Vulcan cannon
M-61A 20mm Gatling gun
The M61 20mm Vulcan is an externally powered, six-barrel, rotary-fire gun having a rate of fire of up to 7200 spm. The firing rate is selectible at 4,000 spm or 6,000 spm. The gun fires standard electrically primed 20mm ammunition. The M61A1 is hydraulically or ram-air driven, electrically controlled, and uses a linkless ammunition feed system.
Each of the gun’s six barrels fires only once during each revolution of the barrel cluster. The six rotating barrels contribute to long weapon life by minimizing barrel erosion and heat generation. The gun’s rate of fire, essentially 100 rounds per second, gives the pilot a shot density that will enable a “kill” when fired in one-second bursts.
The M61 20mm cannon is a proven gun, having been the US military’s close-in weapon of choice dating back to the 1950s. The F-104, F-105, later models of the F-106, F-111, F-4, B-58, all used the M61, as does the Air Force’s F-15 , F-16 and F-22, and the Navy’s F-14 and F/A-18. The internally mounted 20mm cannon system is common to all versions of the F-15. This system combines the widely used (F-4, F-16, F-18) M61 cannon with 940 rounds (A through D models) or 500 rounds (E model) of ammunition. The cannon can be loaded with target practice, armor piercing, or high explosive incendiary rounds. The primary use of the cannon is in the extremely short range (less than 2000 feet) air-to-air environment, where more sophistacated air-to-air missiles are ineffective. Alternately, the cannon has limited usefulness in a ground strafing role. Source fas.org
The aircraft has six hardpoints for carrying external stores, with two under the fuselage, one under each wing and one at each wingtip. The Tien Chien I (TC-1) or Skysword I short-range and the Tien Chien II (TC-2) or Skysword II medium-range air-to-air missiles are supplied by the China State Arsenals. TC-1 has a range of 5km and has an infrared seeker. TC-2, with a range of 60km, has active radar guidance and is armed with a high-explosive warhead weighing 22kg.
Tien Chien I (TC-1) or Skysword I
Sky Sword 1 air-to-air missile is a short-range infrared guided missile, by the Republic of China Zhongshan Institute of Science and Technology for the design and production, for the F-CK-1 fighters by the use of the country. ROC air force is the world’s first air-to-air missile with rattlesnake hit a record shot down, while the extensive use of Sidewinder missile air force, but the Sky Sword missile is the first time the Republic of China to produce infrared guided air-to-air missiles. Currently only equipped with the country by fighters to use. Source blair-military.blogspot.com
Tien Chien II (TC-2) or Skysword II
Sky Sword II air-to-air missiles are active radar-guided medium-range missiles, the Republic of China Zhongshan Academy of Sciences in the United States with the assistance of the country by fighters (F-CK-1) R & D and production equipment. It was also the first production of radar-guided air-to-air missiles in the Republic of China. At present only by the country fighters can be used. Source blair-military.blogspot.com
For ground attack, the aircraft can be armed with rocket pods, bombs, cluster bombs or air-to-surface missiles such as Maverick. The fighter can also be adapted to carry the TC-2A air-to-surface anti-radiation missile, which uses both active and passive radar guidance. TC-2A is being developed by the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology in Taipei.
Wan Chien cluster bomb
The Wan Chien (Chinese: 萬劍) is a cluster bomb researched and produced by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology of Taiwan. A total of 4 Wan Chien cluster bombs have been produced and are currently undergoing testing and evaluation with the Republic of China Air Force‘s AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo fighters. Serial production is expected to start in 2015.
- Primary Function: Cluster Bomb
- Platform: Aircraft launched
- Range: 100–250 km
- Length: 4.5-4.8m
- Weight: 800–900 kg
- Diameter: 75–80 cm
- Warhead: 300–350 kg
- Guidance: GPS Guidance System
- Date Deployed: Unknown
GM-65 Mavericks air-to-surface missile
The AGM-65 Maverick is a tactical, air-to-surface guided missile designed for close air support, interdiction and defense suppression mission. It provides stand-off capability and high probability of strike against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, transportation equipment and fuel storage facilities.
The Maverick variants include electro-optical/television (A and B), imaging infrared (D, F, and G), or laser guidance (E). The Air Force developed the Maverick, and the Navy procured the imaging infrared and the laser guided versions. The AGM-65 has two types of warheads, one with a contact fuse in the nose, the other a heavyweight warhead with a delayed fuse, which penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before firing. The latter is very effective against large, hard targets. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-rocket motor behind the warhead. Source fas.org
Anti-ship missiles such as the Hsiung Feng II, similar to the Israeli Gabriel missile and supplied by the China State Arsenals, can be carried on the fuselage or underwing hardpoints.
Hsiung Feng II has a range of 80km, carries a dual-mode active radar and imaging infrared (III) seeker for terminal guidance and is armed with a 225kg semi armour-piercing, high-explosive warhead.
Three Hsiung Feng II missiles can be carried – one under the central fuselage and one under each wing.
Hsiung Feng II missiles
Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) (Brave Wind II”) is an anti-ship missile system developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology in Taiwan. Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missile has a range of 160 km at speed of 0.85 Mach. Source globalmilitaryreview.blogspot.com
Taiwan’s IDF fighter now armed with CBU-100 cluster bombs: Here
CBU-100 cluster bombs can be seen under planes center pylons – Image @NCSIST
CBU-100 Cluster Bomb
The CBU-100 Cluster Bomb(also called the Mk-20 Rockeye II) is an American cluster bomb which is employed primarily in an anti-tank mode. It weighs 490 pounds and carries 247 Mk 118 Mod 1 bomblets.
The anti-tank cluster bomb is an air-launched, conventional free-fall weapon. The Mk 20, CBU-99, and CBU-100 are used against armored vehicles.
Each bomblet weighs 1.32 pounds (600 g) and has a 0.4-pound (180 g) shaped-chargewarhead of high explosives, which produces up to 250,000 psi (1.7 GPa) at the point of impact, allowing penetration of approximately 7.5 inches (190 mm) of armor. Rockeye is most efficiently used against area targets requiring penetration to kill. Fielded in 1968, the Rockeye dispenser is also used in the Gator air-delivered mine system. Source revolvy.com
The airframe design was developed under the YingYan or Soaring Eagle programme. The aircraft is of shoulder-wing monoplane (single-wing) design, incorporating composite structure materials. The aircraft is built to withstand 9g loading.
The pressurised and air-conditioned cockpit has a Martin Baker Mark 12 zero zero ejection seat and a single-piece bubble canopy. The cockpit is equipped with three multifunction displays and a head-up display.
Martin-Baker Mk 12 zero/zero ejection seat
Martin-Baker developed the Mk12 seat to provide a cost effective escape system with an improved low speed and adverse attitude recovery capability. The Mk12 seat introduced a significant improvement in seat performance over the speed range of zero to 625 knots and from ground level to the service ceiling of the aircraft. The seat has the capability of sensing airspeed and adjusting its mode of operation accordingly. The Mk12 is currently operational in Taiwan in the F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo aircraft.
|Operating Ceiling||50 000ft (15,250m)|
|Minimum height/Speed||Zero/zero in near level attitude|
|Crew boarding mass range||71.4 to 116.0 kg|
|Crew size range||As defined in Survey of 2000 Royal Air Force Aircrew 1970/1971|
|Maximum Speed for ejection||600 KIAS|
|Parachute type||GQ Automatic Inflation Modulation (AIM) aeroconical|
|Parachute deployment||Drogue assisted|
|Drogue parachute type||1.5 m Primary and 1.7 m Secondary|
|Drogue deployment||Gas-initiated parachute deployment unit|
|Ejection seat operation type||Ejection gun and multi-tube rocket pack|
|Ejection gun||Single, two stage cartridges|
|Ejection initiation||Handle on seat pan initiates gas operated seat firing system|
|Multi-mode selector||Yes, mechanical with pitot and deceleration sensors|
|Barostatic time-release unit||Yes + g-restrictor. Gas initiated|
|Automatic back-up unit||No|
|Manual override handle||Yes|
|Seat adjustment||Up/down Actuator operated 28 Vdc|
|Leg restraints||Yes, two garters|
|Oxygen supply||Bottled emergency oxygen, Onboard oxygen generating system connection|
|Personal survival pack||Yes + Automatic Deployment and Liferaft inflation|
|NBC||Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) ventilator|
|Aircrew services||Personal equipment connector (PEC) provides connections for
– oxygen (main and emergency)
– anti-g suit
|Miniature detonating cord||Yes|
|Interseat sequencing system||No|
The cockpit layout was similar to that of an F-16, featuring a Bendix-King wide-angle HUD; twin multifunction displays (MFDs); and a sidestick controller on the right with a throttle on the left, studded with HOTAS controls. The original MFDs were monochrome, but later production had color displays. The pilot sat on a Martin Baker Mark 12 zero-zero ejection seat. As with the F-16, the seat was canted back 30 degrees. The canopy was blasted off as a unit by rocket thrusters before ejection. The cockpit was designed for Taiwanese pilots and is something of a tight fit by Western standards.
The canopy for the single-seat Ching Kuo hinged up from the rear as a single unit. The canopy for the tandem-seat Ching Kuo hinged to the left side. The tandem-seat Ching Kuo was a minimal conversion of the single-seat variant, with no change in external dimensions and the second seat accommodated by removing a fuselage fuel tank. The rear seat was not raised, giving the back-seater a poor view forward. Source airvectors.net
The Tien Lie or Sky Thunder programme covered the development of the avionics. The design of the avionics suite is configured in Line Replaceable Units (LRU) to allow for system growth and the easy upgrade of systems as new technologies become available.
The aircraft uses a BAE Systems (formerly Lear Astronics) fly-by-wire control system and a Northrop Grumman (formerly Litton) inertial navigation system.
AN/APX-113(V) Combined Interrogator/Transponder (CIT)
AN/APX-113(V) Combined Interrogator/Transponder (CIT)
Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) system.
The AN/APX-113(V) Combined Interrogator/Transponder (CIT) is a complete Mk XII identification system which includes crypto computers. It consists of one unit and incorporates growth for the next generation of IFF and combat aircraft identification equipment. The AN/APX-113(V) provides both interrogation and IFF responses on IFF Mode XII Modes 1, 2, 3/A, 4, C and S Level 3.
The multiple antenna configurations feature electronic or mechanical scan. The system features Ada software and a MIL-STD-1553 bus interface.
(combined interrogator/transponder) 209.8 × 152.4 × 368.3 mm
(beam-forming network) 165.1 × 212.9 × 101.6 mm
(fuselage-mounted antenna elements) 39.4 × 82.6 × 332.7 mm
(lower interrogator antenna) 15.2 × 431.8 × 355.6 m
(combined interrogator/transponder) 14.52 kg
(beam-forming network) 4.54 kg
(fuselage-mounted antenna elements) 0.23 kg
Power supply: 28 V DC, 200 W
Range: 185 km
(range) 500 ft
In-beam targets: 32
Reliability: 1,600 h MTBF
This study shows the Combined Interrogator/Transponder (CIT) modification to IDF: four antennas for the APX-113(V) Advanced IFF are installed before the windshield. This photo also shows the pitot head for production models, the two dynamic pressure probes, and the port-side incidence probe. Image: taiwanairpower.org
Forward radar warning receiver (RWR)
The forward radar warning receiver (RWR) antennas are located on the (Leading Edge Root eXtensions) LERXes. This is the port-side view. Note the (covered) vent for cannon gases. Image: taiwanairpower.org
AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers
The device is used by all the U.S. military services, as well as 20 other countries. It ALE-47 adds software to the earlier AN/ALE-40, but adds considerable intelligence. It also can use the expendable cartridges built for the ALE-40 and ALE-39. This earlier generation of cartridges did not have their own computers, but were simple flares or radar-reflecting chaff bundles.
New cartridges, such as the RT-1489/ALE (GEN-X) expendable decoy, intelligently retransmit a radar signal that reproduces the reflection for which a semi-active radar homing missile is aiming. Cartridges for various electronic intelligence functions are being built to the same form factor, as well as the CADDIE chemical sensors described below.
The AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers are installed under the rear fuselage, slightly aft the tail formation lighting strips. Image: taiwanairpower.org
The aircraft’s radar is the Golden Dragon CD-53. The multi-mode pulse Doppler radar has look-down, shoot-down capability and can operate in air and sea search mode. The radar has a range over 80 nautical miles.
Golden Dragon CD-53 radar
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. Data military-today.com
The TFE1042 engine has been developed by the International Turbine Engine Corporation (ITEC), a joint venture between the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) and AlliedSignal. The programme to develop the engine was named Yun Han or Cloud Man.
The engine, weighing 1,360lb, delivers 41.1kN maximum thrust. The modular-designed engine has full digital electronic controls.
2 x TFE1042 engine
In 1978, Garrett announced joint research on the TFE1042 afterburner with Swedish company Volvo Flygmotor AB in order to provide an engine for the AIDC F-CK Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF) being developed for the Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force (ROCAF). The TFE731 Model 1042 was touted as a low bypass ratio “military derivative of the proven commercial TFE731 engine” and “provides efficient, reliable, cost effective propulsion for the next generation of light strike and advanced trainer aircraft”, with thrust of 4260 lbf (18.9 kN) dry and 6790 lbf (30.2 kN) with afterburner.
- Type: Turbofan
- Length: 102.1 in (259 cm)
- Diameter: 36 in (91.4 cm)
- Dry weight: 1050 lb (521.6 kg)
- Compressor: 3 axial fan (low pressure compressor) stages, 4 axial high pressure compressor stages, 1 centrifugal high pressure compressor stage
- Turbine: 1 stage high pressure turbine, 1 stage low pressure turbine
- Maximum thrust: 6280 lbf (28 kN)
- Overall pressure ratio: 19.4:1
- Bypass ratio: 0.49:1
- Specific fuel consumption: 0.78 lb/lbf-hr (82.6 kg/kN-hr)
- Thrust-to-weight ratio: 5.3:1
The kidney-shaped air intakes are mounted low on the centre section of the fuselage, and the two engines are mounted side by side at the rear of the fuselage. The inspection schedule calls for a 2,000-hour hot section and 4,000-hour cold section inspection intervals. The fuel consumption is 0.81lb/h per pound of thrust.
The aircraft is equipped with a variable speed constant frequency electrical power generator, which is supplied by Westinghouse.
Main material source airforce-technology.com
Revised Feb 12, 2017
Updated Jun 25, 2017
* Crew: 1-2
* Length: 14.21 m (46 ft 7 in)
* Wingspan: 9.46 m (31 ft 0 in)
* Height: 4.42 m (14 ft 6 in)
* Wing area: 24.2 m² (260 ft²)
* Empty weight: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb)
* Loaded weight: 9,072 kg (20,000 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 12,000 kg (27,000 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Honeywell F125-70
o Dry thrust: 27 kN (6,000 lbf) each
o Thrust with afterburner: 42 kN (9,500 lbf) each
* Maximum speed: Mach 1.8
* Range: 1,100 km (600 nmi, 680 mi)
* Service ceiling: 16,800 m (55,000 ft)
* Rate of climb: m/s (ft/min)
* Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 cannon
o 2× Sky Sword I
o 2× Sky Sword II
o Wan Chien cluster bomb
* Radar: 1× GD-53 X-band pulse doppler
* Effective scanning range:
o Look down: 39 km (24 mi)
o Look up: 57 km (35 mi)