F-16 repair center to start operations

REGIONAL COOPERATION: Due to lower costs, the facility could also attract other countries’ fighter jet fleets for maintenance work, a DPP legislator said

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 24, 2020
By: Wu Su-wei and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Republic of China Air Force F-166V takes off from an air base in Changhua County on May 28 last year.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Taichung-based Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) is to open a maintenance center for F-16 jets on Friday, which is also to service aircraft operated by countries throughout the region, with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) scheduled to attend the opening ceremony.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) — a member of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee — called the opening of the center a “milestone” and said it would be useful for engaging in exchanges with Asia-Pacific countries that are not diplomatic allies of Taiwan.

In the face of China’s military buildup, cooperating with Taiwan on fighter-jet maintenance and repair would be ideal for other countries that are also friendly to the US, he said.

The new facility would handle all repairs to the 66 F-16V jets that Taiwan last year purchased from the US, as well as handling upgrades on the military’s 142 standard F-16 jets, a source said.    [FULL  STORY]

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