TYPE: Air superiority fighter.
PROGRAMME: Final two aircraft (88-8134 and 88-8135) delivered to RoCAF on 14 January 2000; second wing (1st TFW) declared operational July 2000. An update is under development for existing aircraft and two further versions (tentative designations IDF 'C' and 'D') have been proposed to permit production to be restarted. Latter reportedly initiated by AIDC with initial US$30 million, but further US$200 million said to be required to continue programme to flight test stage; this not yet realised. Meanwhile, in 2002 company began flight testing an F-5E Tiger II, loaned by RoCAF, with an upgraded avionics suite (APG-67 radar, MFDs, HUDs and 1553 databus) having high level of commonality with that proposed for IDF.
CURRENT VERSIONS: F-CK-1A: Single-seat fighter. Three prototypes; 103 production. In 1999 F-CK-1A 1417 began modification by AIDC as prototype of mid-life update, believed to include upgraded GD-53 radar and GPS antennas ahead of windscreen.
F-CK-1B: Two-seat operational trainer. One prototype; 28 production.
IDF 'C': Development programme, with initial funding in mid-2000, for improved single-seater with same upgrades as D version, plus new weapons; projected service-entry date 2010.
IDF 'D': A lead-in fighter trainer version of the Ching-Kuo, based on the two-seater minus its ECM and internal gun, was proposed to the RoCAF in 1995. This engineering modification programme, known as Derivative IDF, in preliminary design stage by late 1999; other changes would include simplified avionics and additional 771 kg (1,700 lb) of internal fuel. AIDC still seeking an intemational partner to join a next-generation trainer programme and market this IDF derivative globally.