Air Weapons

AIDC

F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo

The AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo is Taiwan's first indigenous combat aircraft, developed at a time when intense diplomatic pressure by China resulted in the failure of the ROKAF to aquire modern US aircraft like the F-16. Named after a former president, the Ching-Kuo shares a remarkable similarity to the F-16 (especially when viewed from above), mainly due to the collaboration between General Dynamics and AIDC in the design of the airframe. Assistance in the development of the radar was greatly aided by Westinghouse and based on the US AN/APG-67 while the powerplant was aided by Allied Signal which sadly ended up being woefully underpowered allowing for less speed and range than would be desired; it was undoubtedly the weak point in an otherwise capable aircraft. By the end of the Cold War, production of the Ching-Kuo was scaled down due to the relaxing of export restrictions for the F-16 and Mirage 2000 fighters eventually adopted by the ROKAF.

Maiden flight of the first IDF (Indigenous Defense Fighter) prototype was on 28 May 1989 and the first production Ching-Kuo took to the skies less than five years later. Two versions of the basic Ching-Kuo design exist in both single-seat (F-CK-1A) and two-seat (F-CK-1B) configurations, these have advanced fly-by-wire controls, modern cockpits and can carry the local-made Sky Sword I and II air-to-air missiles. A major upgrade program is currently underway to convert existing units into F-CK-1C (single-seater) and F-CK-1D (two-seater) standards. There feature a new avionics suite, additional weapons, and electronic warfare capability.

Preceded by:

None

Related:

F-16 Fighting Falcon (1978)

Succeeded by:

None

Datafile

DesignF-CK-1A
NameChing-Kuo
TypeMulti-Role Fighter
Year1995
Crew1
Dimensions
Length14.21 m
Height4.42 m
Wing Span9.46 m
Wing Area24.2 m²
Weight
Empty6,500 kg
Maximum12,000 kg
Wing Loading495.9 kg/m²
Performance
SpeedMach 1.8
Ceiling16,800 m
Range1,100 km
Powerplant
Engine2 x TFE1042-70
ITEC
4,300 kgf
Thrust/Weight1.20
Sensors
RadarGolden Dragon 53
Armament
Guns1 x 20-mm
Payload3,900 kg
Hardpoints6
AA WeaponsSky Sword I
Sky Sword II
Production
Built?
Total144