DIY JOBS:The air force’s chief of staff said AIDC would begin a multi-year upgrade of F-16A/Bs to F-16Vs next year, overseen by the planes’ maker, Lockheed Martin
Date: Nov 18, 2016
By: Chen Wei-han / Staff reporter
As part of the government’s program to develop an indigenous defense industry, the Ministry of National Defense said it would complete the upgrade of four F-16 jets next year, making the nation the first to have a fleet of F-16Vs, while the navy is to tender offers for submarine designs from local companies.
Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) is to begin retrofitting the air force’s F-16A/Bs on Jan. 16, and the first four F-16Vs, an upgraded variant of the F-16A/B, would be completed next year, Air Force Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Fan Ta-wei (范大維) said yesterday at a budget review held by the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
AIDC would complete the upgrade of between 25 and 28 F-16s every year and the air force’s 144 F-16s — including 10 F-16s stationed at a US base — would be completely upgraded by 2023, Fan said.
The air force’s NT$110 billion (US$3.45 billion) Phoenix Rising Project aims to upgrade the F-16A/B fleet to F-16V specification by 2022. [FULL STORY]