Taipei, March 2 (CNA) Taiwan is aiming to complete a prototype of a new fighter jet in 10 years and is poised to begin building the engine, the developers said Thursday.
A budget proposal for the jet engine program will be sent to the Legislature later this year for approval, Chang Guan-chung (張冠群), president of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), said in a legislative hearing.
If the budget is approved, the program to develop the engine will start in 2018 and a prototype of a new fighter jet will be completed in 10 years, Chang said in response to questions by members of the legislative Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
The engine program is an important part of Taiwan's plan to develop an advanced fighter jet to replace its aging fleet of combat aircraft, which is made up mostly of U.S.-made F-16s, France-made Mirage 2000-5s and indigenous IDFs.
The engine for the new aircraft will be based on the IDF's TFE-1042-70 engine and is being developed by the NCSIST, Taiwan's main weapons research and development institute, according to sources.
(By Lu Hsin-hui and Elaine Hou)