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First indigenous trainer to be delivered Monday

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A mass produced AJT (left) and a prototype of the jet trainer are pictured in Taichung on Oct. 21. File photo courtesy of a reader

Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) Taiwan's Air Force is scheduled to take delivery Monday of the first indigenous advanced jet trainer (AJT) to roll off the production line, a military source told CNA Sunday.

Manufactured by the government-funded Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC), the trainer, with the serial number 11003, has completed all the required tests before being delivered to the military, including a successful round of test flights on Oct. 21, according to the source who spoke under the condition of anonymity.

The AJT will be taking off from Taichung Air Base, where the AIDC is located, at 9 a.m. on Monday before it is scheduled to arrive at Taitung Air Base in southeastern Taiwan at 10 a.m., the source said.

Upon its landing at the Taitung Air Base, a water salute will be held to welcome the jet, it added.

According to a Ministry of Defense report delivered to the Legislature in September, the AIDC plans to deliver two AJTs to the Air Force by the end of this year.

A second AJT has also come off the mass production line, with the serial number 11004, and its first round of test flights was conducted in Taichung on Saturday, the source added.

Two AJT prototypes, with the serial numbers 11001 and 11002, were also manufactured, with test flights conducted in June 2020 and December 2020, respectively.

A total of 66 AJTs are expected to be delivered before the end of 2026, the report said.

The AJT project was initiated in 2017 to replace the military's decades-old AT-3 trainer aircraft and F-5E/F lead-in fighter trainers.

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