Taiwan has flown the T-5 Yung Yin (‘Brave Eagle’) advanced jet trainer (AJT) and light fighter aircraft that it has indigenously developed to equip the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF).
The Brave Eagle makes its maiden flight on 10 June. The RoCAF plans to buy 66 to replace its ageing AIDC AT-3 trainers by 2026, while a light fighter AT-5 variant is intended to replace the service’s Northrop F-5E/F Tiger IIs. (Ministry of National Defense )
The milestone, announced by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) on 10 June, saw the supersonic twin-seat Taiwan Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) aircraft depart Ching Chuan Kang Air Base and fly for approximately 20 minutes.
“[The 10 June] test was the first of three days of tests being conducted by the air force before an official test flight is held on 22 June at the air base. The [RoCAF] has previously said the AJT has already cleared the required pre-flight dynamic and static tests, enabling the test flight to be conducted sometime later this month,” the Taiwan Central News Agency (CNA) said.
The first flight came about nine months after the new aircraft was rolled out in September 2019. At that time, it was referred to as Blue Magpie rather than Brave Eagle.
The RoCAF is slated to receive 66 Brave Eagles to replace its ageing AIDC AT-3 trainers by 2026, while a light fighter AT-5 variant will replace the service’s Northrop F-5E/F Tiger IIs.
As noted by
Janes All the World’s Aircraft: Development and Production
, the Brave Eagle is billed as a domestic alternative to the Leonardo M-346 Master AJT, with full-scale development having begun in April 2018.