Taiwan seeks to revive aerospace fortunes with jet trainers

Taiwan is seeking to revive its long-dormant aerospace industry with a $2.1 billion investment in the production of supersonic air force jet trainers.

President Tsai Ing-wen presided over a ceremony Tuesday to inaugurate the project, which she hopes will aid Taiwan's security and stem the flow of engineering talent overseas.

Taiwan has largely abandoned the industry since it developed an Indigenous Defense Fighter in the 1980s following difficulty obtaining such hardware abroad as a result of pressure from rival China.

Although Taiwan has since bought fighter jets from the U.S. and France, Tsai said failure to develop the domestic industry would be a "major disaster" for the island democracy's security. She said the project would also help upgrade the island's mechanical, materials, communication technology and other industries.