by Joseph K.
One of Lockheed Martin's legacy companies, General Dynamics Fort Worth Division (GDFW), was awarded a contract in the mid-1980s to assist Aero Industry Development Center (AIDC), a quasi-government entity in Taiwan, in building a high-performance fighter, literally from the ground up. I was a senior engineering specialist (avionics) on the program for nine years, including over three years onsite in Taichung. The program continued in 1992 after Lockheed bought GDFW. The airplane is known as the Indigenous Defensive Fighter (IDF), the Soaring Eagle. The program took place because the United States would not sell F-16 Fighting Falcons to Taiwan in those years.