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AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung

The AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung is an advanced jet trainer operated by the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF).

A total of sixty-two aircraft were manufactured by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of Taiwan in collaboration with American aircraft manufacturer Northrop between 1984 and 1990.

Two A-3 single-seat attack version were also built.

Design of the advanced jet trainer began in 1975 with a conventional low-wing configuration with a tricycle undercarriage, tandem seat cockpit, and twin turbofans mounted in nacelles on either side of the fuselage.

After the design was approved in 1978, two prototypes were produced.

The first aircraft rolled out on 17 July 1980 and made its maiden flight on 16 September 1980.

Further evaluation resulted in a contract for 60 AT-3As for the ROCAF.

The AT-3 is a low-wing monoplane with a straight wing and a conventional slab tail plane.

The AT-3 has five weapon mounts (one centreline, two inboard under wing, two outboard under wing) and wingtip launch rails.

There are two Zero-zero Martin-Baker 10 ejection seats in the tandem dual-control cockpit of production models.

The rear seat (the Instructor position) is elevated 30 cm to allow better over-the-nose visibility.

There’s a rarely used small bomb bay feature in the aircraft, now mostly holding an auxiliary fuel tank.

AT-3 has two Honeywell/Garrett TFE731-2-2L non-afterburning turbofan engines, producing a total thrust of 3178 kg (31.1 kN; 7000 lb).

It is able to carry various size iron bombs, rocket pods, AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and locally produced TC-1 IR Air-to-air missiles.





12.9 m (42 ft 4 in)

(Including pitot probe)


10.46 m (34 ft 4 in)


4.36 m (14 ft 4 in)

Wing area

21.93 m2 (236.1 sq ft)

Empty weight

3,855 kg (8,499 lb)

Max take-off weight

7,940 kg (17,505 lb)


2 × Honeywell TFE731-2 turbofan engines

15.6 kN (3,500 lbf) thrust each


Maximum speed

904 km/h (562 mph, 488 kn) at 11,000 m (36,089 ft)


2,280 km (1,420 mi, 1,230 nmi)

Service ceiling

14,650 m (48,060 ft)



2 x .50 cal machine guns in ventral pack, 20 mm gun pods


Two wing tip pylons for Air-to-air missiles and 5 wing and fuselage hardpoints with a capacity of 2,720 kg (5,997 lb),


5 in and 2.75 in rocket pods


Sky Sword I and AIM-9P4 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles,

HF-2 Mk 2 anti-ship missile.


Mk 82 500 lb bombs,

Mk84 2000 lb bombs,

Mk20 cluster bombs.


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