Taiwan begins F-16V modernisation effort


Taiwan has begun the process of upgrading its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to the latest F-16V configuration, it was confirmed to IHS Jane’s on 17 January.

Lockheed Martin said that work to upgrade the Republic of China Air Force’s (RoCAF’s) F-16A/Bs had begun with the company’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) partners. National media reported that the first four of the RoCAF’s F-16A/Bs to be retrofitted were flown to the facility in Taichung in the northwest of the island on 16 January.

First unveiled at the Singapore Airshow in 2012, the F-16V features the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar (derived from the F-16E/F Block 60 AN/APG-80 and also known as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar: SABR), a new Raytheon mission computer, the Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare system, and a ground collision avoidance system.

The F-16 original equipment manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, was awarded USD272 million to install 142 F-16V aircraft upgrade kits already contracted for USD1.85 billion. In May 2016 it was reported that AIDC was building a hangar at Taichung that could accommodate up to 24 aircraft per year going through the process. Work will be performed in Taiwan and in the United States, and is expected to be complete by 31 May 2022.

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The F-16V shares the same outer mould-line of the standard Fighting Falcon, but features a number of advanced systems including an AESA radar. (Lockheed Martin)The F-16V shares the same outer mould-line of the standard Fighting Falcon, but features a number of advanced systems including an AESA radar. (Lockheed Martin)



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