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 F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo

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Posts : 31
Joined : 2010-01-15
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Location : India

PostSubject: F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo   Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:19 pm




Role : Fighter aircraft
National origin : Republic of China
Manufacturer : Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation
First flight : 1989
Introduction : 1994
Status : Active service
Primary user : Republic of China Air Force
Produced : 1980s-1999 (A/B Models)
Number built : 131
Unit cost : US$24 million (estimated)



General Characteristics :

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
Dry thrust : 27 kN (6,000 lbf) each
Thrust with afterburner : 42 kN (9,500 lbf) each

Performance :

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)

Armament :

Guns : 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 cannon
Missiles :
2× Sky Sword I
2× Sky Sword II
Wan Chien cluster bomb

Avionics :

Radar : 1× GD-53 X-band pulse doppler
Effective Look down scanning range : 39 km (24 mi)
Effective Look up scanning range : 57 km (35 mi)



The Republic of China Air Force's AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo (?????) is a light fighter aircraft named after the late ROC President Chiang Ching-kuo. It entered active service in 1994, and 131 production aircraft had been manufactured by 1999.

Although named and commonly known as the Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF), the project was a joint effort between Republic of China and United States defense companies, with final assembly by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) (based in Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China). The IDF program was initiated when purchase of the US -built F-20 Tigershark ran into political problems.

The preliminary search for a replacement for the Republic of China Air Force's F-5s and F-104s began with the XF-6 indigenous fighter project, later renamed Ying Yang, in the late 1970s. After the US established formal relations with the 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 on August 28, 1980, ordered AIDC to design an indigenous high-speed interceptor. Originally, the ROCAF listed the priority of the XF-6 behind the XA-3 Lei Ming attack aircraft, due to the believed high risks of the XF-6 project.

The signing of the 1982 US-PRC Joint Communiqué, which would limit arms sales to Taiwan, effectively ended the possibility of the ROCAF obtaining either F-16s or F-20s, therefore ensuring the continuation of the indigenous fighter project. Although US President Ronald Reagan reluctantly accepted his advisers' suggestion of building relations with the PRC to counter the USSR, Reagan decided to balance the 1982 US-PRC Communiqué with the "Six Assurances" to Taiwan. This opened the door for covert US technology transfer and assistance to Taiwan's defense industry, including the IDF project .



The AIDC officially began the IDF development project in 1982 following the ROCAF's failure to purchase new fighters from the United States as a result of the PRC's diplomatic pressure. The project was named An Hsiang and divided into four sections in 1983:

1. Ying-Yang (??): "Soaring Eagle". Development of the airframe. Cooperation with General Dynamics.
2. Yun-Han (??): "Galaxy". Development of the aircraft powerplant and propulsion. Cooperation with Garrett (Now Honeywell).
3. Tien-Lei (??): "Sky Thunder". Development of the avionics systems. Cooperation with Smiths Industries, with some components purchased directly from Lear Astronics (later BAE), Litton (later Northrop Grumman) and Martin-Baker.
4. Tien-Chien (??): "Sky Sword". Development of air-to-air missiles.

The IDF was designed to counter the People's Liberation Army Air Force's J-8, J-7, and newer fighters such as the J-12, with the intention for the aircraft to have performance on par with the F-16 and Mirage 2000, since both F-16 and Mirage 2000 fighters had been offered to PLAAF before 1989.[citation needed] The greatest difficulties were encountered by the propulsion group in attempting to develop or acquire suitable advanced jet engines. There is also speculation that the use of weaker engines was due to political rather than technical reasons, namely that the US did not want to see Taiwan provoke the PRC and thus mandated the IDF to have a "range no greater than the F-5E" and "ground attack capability no greater than the F-16". Regardless of the reason, many people consider the F-CK-1 to be somewhat underpowered, meaning that its performance is not at the same level as other ROCAF fighters (i.e the Block 20 F-16).

Yun Han : Engine Research ::

Exports of advanced engines such as the General Electric F404 or the Pratt & Whitney F100 weren't available to Taiwan. Both the General Electric J85 and General Electric J79 were considered unsuitable in their performance, and most European and American engine companies declined to cooperate with Taiwan. Joint investment with Garrett became the only practical solution.

In 1978, following the success of the TFE-731 engine, U.S. engine company Garrett announced joint research of the TFE-1042 afterburner with Swedish company Volvo Flygmotor AB. The TFE-731 Model 1042 was touted as a low bypass ratio "military derivative of the proven commercial TFE 731 engine" and that it would provide "efficient, reliable, cost effective propulsion for the next generation of light strike and advanced trainer aircraft", with a thrust of 4260 lbf (18.9 kN) dry and 6790 lbf (30.2 kN) with afterburner. After the initial negotiation, the investment was going to be divided between Garrett, Volvo, AIDC, and Italian company Piaggio. The development would consist of the non-afterburning TFE-1042-6 for light attack aircraft and advanced trainers, and the TFE-1042-7 for the AMX or the F-5 upgrade. AIDC also suggested upgrading the TFE-1042-7 to 8,000 lbf (36 kN) thrust in a twin-engine installation, in order to compete with the GE F404. However, the JAS 39 Gripen project decided to continue with a single F404, and Piaggio asked to participate at a later date due to financial concerns. Thus only Garrett and AIDC invested in the new International Turbine Engine Corporation (ITEC), with the contract signed in 1982.

The engine requirements changed after the IDF's role shifted from a high-speed interceptor to an air superiority fighter at the end of 1982. ITEC completely redesigned the TFE-1042-7 into the TFE-1042-70 - for example, the bypass ratio was changed from 0.84 to 0.4 -, and the investment had increased from USD 1.8 billion to about USD 3.2 billion. However, to avoid pressures from the PRC, the United States government had asked all the US companies cooperating with Taiwan on the IDF project to remain low-key. Therefore, the perception that "the TFE-1042 is merely the civilian engine TFE-731 with an afterburner" was never completely dispelled.

In 1985, the preliminary review of the IDF's design revealed some performance requirement shortfalls, and it was determined that an upgrade of engine thrust by 10% was the simplest solution. Due to American export license restrictions, ITEC used FADEC to artificially limit the thrust below a certain altitude (the restriction was not removed until 1990). Although the upgrade essentially used the TFE-1088-11 configuration, to reduce political interference ITEC renamed the original, lower-thrust version as the TFE-1042-X70 and retained the TFE-1042-70 designation for the upgraded version.

In 1988, ITEC decided to invest in the 12,000 lbf (53 kN) thrust TFE-1088-12, which was re-designated as the TFE-1042-70A for political reason as well. Preliminary studies had shown that the IDF could supercruise with the new engine. At the same time, General Electric decided to enter the market with the J101/SF, a smaller version of the F404. However, after the IDF order was cut in half due to budget concerns, the TFE-1088-12 engine upgrade plan ended as well.[3] Since then, there are many rumors of AIDC completing engine upgrade research in private, however, the ROCAF and AIDC never officially announced any IDF fleet engine upgrade.

Ying Yang : Aerodynamic Design ::

The cooperation between AIDC and General Dynamics (GD) was divided into four phases:

1. GD analyzed the ROCAF's aircraft performance and force requirements.
2. Taiwan assessed GD's reports and choose between AIDC's original design and GD's new design. #AIDC sent personnel to GD for the preliminary design phase.
3. GD sent personnel to Taiwan to complete the project.

GD's assistance was restricted by the US State Department's arms export control, which limited GD's work to initial design consulting but not further development, production, or marketing.

Many different airframe design concepts were explored (e.g. the 2D Thrust-Vectoring nozzle of XX-201, the double delta wings/twin tailed 401). After the General Electric J79 was officially abandoned as the potential engine solution in 1983, three configurations emerged from AIDC.

1. Configuration A was similar to the F-5E.
2. Configuration B was similar to the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen.
3. Configuration C was similar to the F-15.

At the same time, GD worked on the G configuration in parallel. Eventually the G-4 was selected, but with many features of the C-2 integrated. During this time, the project was named the "Light Weight Defense Fighter". In 1985, the configuration conceptual design had evolved into the SE-1 preliminary design. By the end of 1985, AIDC decided to skip the prototype stage and go into Full Scale Development (FSD) directly, in order to reduce time and save money. The project was again renamed into the "Indigenous Defense Fighter". Four FSD aircraft were made, with three single-seaters and one double-seater.

Tien Lei : Avionics Integration ::

The IDF is equipped with a GD-53 Golden Dragon multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar, which is essentially the General Electric AN/APG-67 X band developed for the F-20 which claims to share some components and technologies of AN/APG-66 of F-16, and this adaptation resulted in the look-down and shoot-down capability of GD-53 being greatly enhanced in comparison to that of the original AN/APG-67, reaching that of the AN/APG-66. The radar can simultaneously track 10 targets and engage one of the 10 targets tracked with semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles.

The design is inherently unstable in pitch, so the IDF incorporated a modern triple-redundant full authority fly-by-wire control system. The avionics suite was based on modular architecture with dual redundant MIL-STD-1553B digital MUX bus. The Honeywell H423 INS, the TWS-95 RHAWS, and the Bendix-King HUD were selected. Some capabilities may have been delayed or dropped in order to meet the performance requirement, since the engine limitation has resulted in the necessity of strict weight control.

Tien Chien : Missile R&D ::

The CSIST's Tien Chien project was slightly more independent, since it was considered by some officials to be a development for all the ROCAF's aircraft rather than only the IDF. The Tien Chien 1 (TC-1) is a short range infrared-seeking missile with an external configuration similar to that of the AIM-9 Sidewinder, while the Tien Chien 2 (TC-2) is an active radar homing Beyond Visual Range missile that is claimed to be in the same class as the AIM-120 AMRAAM.

The first test firing of the TC-1 was made by an F-5E in April 1986, with the Beech target drone successfully destroyed. Initial production of the TC-1 began in 1989, and it entered service in 1991. Both the AIM-9 and the TC-1 appeared on operational IDFs.

CSIST is believed to have cooperated with Motorola on the TC-2's active seeker, likely based on the Motorola design proposed for the AIM-120 but not selected by the United States. 40 pre-production TC-2 missiles were produced before 1995, and were the only BVR AAMs ROCAF/Taiwan had in inventory during the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Missile Crisis. 210+ production TC-2s were originally planned.



F-CK-1 A/B An Hsiang ::

The first successful test flight by FSD A1 was made on May 28, 1989. The twin-seater, FSD B1, conducted its first flight on July 10 1990.[6] The first successful firing of the Tien-Chien II (Sky Sword II) air to air missile took place in 1992, with the ROCAF establishing its first F-CK-1 squadron the following year.

The ROCAF's initial order for 250 aircraft was cut to 130 in 1991, following deals for the purchase of 150 F-16 Block 20 A/B and 60 Mirage 2000-5E/F with the US and France. The last IDF A/B rolled off the production line in 1999.

F-CK-1 C/D Hsiang Sheng ::

The ROC's Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that beginning in 2001, the government would include a new budget allocation for the IDF upgrade plan (as included in the five MND proposals to help AIDC). This is part of the seven-year IDF C/D R&D plan (FY2001~FY2007), which allocates 10 million New Taiwanese Dollars (NTD) annually for a total of 70 million NTD for both CSIST and AIDC. Initial media reports indicated that the upgraded IDF would be called the "Joint Countermeasure Platform".

In a 2006 interview in Jane's Defence Weekly, former AIDC Chairman Sun Tao-Yu said that two new prototypes had been manufactured. The upgrade would allow the IDF to carry an additional 771 kg of fuel. In addition, it includes an improved avionics suite, retrofitted electronic warfare capabilities, and new weapons systems. The landing gear has been strengthened to accommodate the additional payload and fuel, but the plan for a dielectric radar-absorbing "stealth" fuselage was dropped due to concerns over weight. The project consists of three phases:

1. Increase the carrying capacity for the TC-2 Beyond-Visual Range Air-To-Air missile from two to four. Integrate the TC-2A anti-radiation missile and the Wan Chien cluster bomb.
2. Upgrade the mission computers, the electronic counter-countermeasures, the electronic warfare systems, the Active Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) system and the terrain-following radar.
3. Ground and air testing. If the program is approved, service entry is projected to occur in 2010.

The development contract for the upgraded IDF C/D flight control computer was awarded in 2002 to BAE Systems. The computer has a 32-bit PowerPC-based processor with faster processing/computing, higher reliability, and better integration with avionics. AIDC said that the improvements of the flight computer will result in "a safer, higher-performing aircraft".

AIDC originally planned to launch the IDF C/D prototype on National Day, October 10, 2006. However, the first test flight of the upgraded IDF was reportedly successfully completed a few days ahead of schedule in early October.

A decision on production of the aircraft has not yet been announced. However, some media have already begun to speculate about project Hsiang Sheng’s demise, due to ROCAF’s recent interests in procuring Block 50/52 F-16s and some ROCAF officials' lack of confidence in the IDF upgrade project.

During the visit to AIDC's Taichung Shalu factory on March 27, 2007, President Chen Shui-Bian witnessed a test flight of F-CK-1D, and announced that the upgraded IDF will be named Hsiung Ying (Brave Hawk), which signifies that the new fighter would protect the homeland just like the Crested Goshawk.

As of 1/2008, 70 F-CK-1 A/B will be allocated for upgrade to F-CK-1 C/D, according to some AIDC and ROCAF officials, with the first 2 upgraded F-CK-1 C already handed over to ROCAF 12/2007.

IDF Lead-in Fighter Trainer ::

According to the media, the AIDC IDF trainer concept apparently involved the removal of the fire control radar and combat systems with the retention of rear-seat flight controls, so that the IDF could be used as a lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT). The ROCAF seemed to have reservations with the concept, however, as it would mean the IDF LIFT would not be usable in wartime. A MND letter said, "Regarding the newspaper report of AIDC's desire to use the IDF fighter as a basis for supersonic trainer development, it is only that company's operational planning concept. The Ministry of National Defense and the Air Force currently do not have such a plan". The letter then said that due to a tight budget allocation the ROCAF would instead ask AIDC to extend the life of the AT-3 and continue to use the F-5 in the LIFT role.

In 2003, the former AIDC Chairman Huang Jung-Te said that AIDC still hoped the ROCAF would consider using a simplified version of the IDF for LIFT, and that such a concept could have a cost as low as USD 16 million per unit, compared to the T-50's USD 19 million. However, the F-CK-1 LIFT modifications or new production concepts never received government funding or approval.

In May 2006, Lt. General Cheng Shih-Yu testified that the MND indeed plans to retire the F-5E/F by 2010 and allow the in-service IDFs to take over training missions. It is unclear what modifications (if any) will be made to IDFs after they become trainers.

All ROCAF pilots selected and sent to US and France to receive training on F-16 block 20 and Mirage 2000-5 fighters had to have flown with IDF/F-CK-1 for at least 6 months, which makes IDF a LIFT except in name.

Advanced Defense Fighter ::

There were some initial concepts for further developments of the IDF project. After the IDF basic variant was finalized, the next step would have involved an upgrade with systems improvement, new technologies, and adjustments of material and weight. Then the next advanced version of the IDF would have configuration modifications, performance improvement, advanced technologies, new materials and applications of advanced weapons. Finally, the next generation design would have taken place.



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