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AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung

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

The Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation of Taiwan, in collaboration with the American aircraft manufacturer Northrop, produced a total of sixty-two aircraft between 1984 and 1990.

Additionally, two single-seat attack versions, designated A-3, were constructed.

The design of the advanced jet trainer, initiated in 1975, featured a conventional low-wing configuration, a tricycle undercarriage, a tandem-seat cockpit, and twin turbofans housed in nacelles on either side of the fuselage.

Following the design’s approval in 1978, two prototypes were constructed.

The first aircraft was unveiled on July 17, 1980, and completed its inaugural flight on September 16, 1980.

Subsequent evaluations led to a contract for 60 AT-3As for the ROCAF.

The AT-3 features a low-wing monoplane design with a straight wing and a traditional slab tailplane.

It is equipped with five weapon mounts, including one centreline, two inboard under-wings, and two outboard under-wings, along with wingtip launch rails.

The production models’ tandem dual-control cockpit is fitted with two Zero-zero Martin-Baker 10 ejection seats.

The rear seat, designated for the instructor, is raised by 30 cm to enhance forward visibility over the nose.

The aircraft features a seldom-used small bomb bay, which currently serves primarily to house an auxiliary fuel tank.

The AT-3 is equipped with two Honeywell/Garrett TFE731-2-2L non-afterburning turbofan engines, delivering a combined thrust of 3178 kg (31.1 kN; 7000 lb).

It has the capability to carry iron bombs of various sizes, rocket pods, AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and locally manufactured 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 calibre 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.


Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC)

Attack and Interceptor Jets-M Sharpe.



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