18 F-16A/B jet fighter upgrades completed

Focus Taiwan
Date: 12/03/2020
By: Flor Wang and Matt You

A F-16V. Photo courtesy of the Military News Agency

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Eighteen 16A/B jet fighters belonging to Taiwan's Air Force had been upgraded in the first 11 months of the year, under a joint Taiwan-United States program to help Taiwan boost its air defense capabilities and meet the needs of advanced warfare, the military said on Thursday.

The 18 upgraded F-16Vs (Block 20) are part of the 141 16A/B jet fighters Taiwan asked the U.S. to help modernize in 2011 under a NT$110 billion (US$3.8 billion) joint venture between Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) and Lockheed Martin Corporation, the military said.

With 123 16A/Bs still to be modernized, the two companies are seeking to accelerate the pace of the project which has lagged behind schedule, in the hope of completing the transformation of all 141 aircraft by 2023, the military said.

In addition, delivery of 66 brand new F-16Vs (Block 70) that the Air Force purchased from the U.S. in a deal inked in 2019 is slated to be completed by 2026, after which the aircraft will be deployed at Zhi-Hang Air Base in Taitung County, it said.    [FULL  STORY]

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