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Taiwan shows upgraded IDFs armed with ASMs

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The Chingkou indigenous defence fighter (IDF). A Taiwan MoD photo

TAIPEI (BNS): Taiwan has unveiled the first batch of its refurbished Chingkou indigenous defence fighters (IDFs) armed with domestically-built Wan Chien stand-off air-to-surface cruise missiles.

The upgraded fighters were displayed during a ceremony attended by Taiwanese President and supreme commander of the country's armed forces, Ma Ying-jeou, at the Tainan Air Force Base on January 16. Several other top-level military officials also attended the event.

The IDF refurbishment programme was launched in 2009.

Later, the Defence Ministry announced plans to invest 15 billion Taiwan dollars in 2011-2012 to equip the IDFs with a new air-to-ground long range cruise missile system, 'Wan Chien' (Ten Thousand Swords) developed by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST).

The first phase of upgradation work involving 71 fighters was completed in 2013.

The upgraded IDFs feature improved radar, electronics, flight control and avionics systems besides being armed with the Wan Chien stand-off ASMs, the Defence Ministry said.

Taiwan's Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) has been operating a total of 127 Chingkou IDFs since the 1990s. Following the refurbishment programme, Taiwan aims to keep the fighters airworthy for another 20 years and maintain a credible deterrence against the People's Republic of China (PRC) into the 2030s.

The remaining 56 fighters will be upgraded by 2017.

Tags:

Taiwan  Air Force  Fighter  IDF  Missile  
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