The air force yesterday received its first upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16V, the latest variant of the jet, at the Shueishang Airbase in Chiayi County, with three more expected to arrive by the end of the year.
The air force has budgeted NT$129.6 billion (US$4.18 billion) for Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (漢翔航空工業) and US-based Lockheed Martin Corp to upgrade its 143 F-16A/Bs to F-16V standard.
The jet received yesterday had completed hardware and software upgrades in June, and was first spotted by aviation enthusiasts after it began flight tests at the end of August, sources said.
Photo: Yu Tai-lang, Taipei Times
News at the time drew great concern from the Ministry of National Defense and the US, sources said, adding that a full-scale investigation of intelligence and counter-espionage systems were launched to identify the leak.
The air force said it expects that the upgrades would complete outfitting 20 to 24 jets per year until 2022.
Most of the F-16V jets would be repainted and their markings would be refurbished in Shueishang and at the Sincheng Airbase in Hualien County after they arrive to prevent spies from identifying which planes have been upgraded, the air force said.
Since the purchase of 150 F-16A/B jets in 1992, the plane has become the air force’s primary fighter in terms of air-to-air, air-to-sea and air-to-surface defenses.
With the growing disparity of air forces on either side of the Taiwan Strait, the US in 2011 agreed to upgrade Taiwan’s F-16s to one of the most advanced variants of the F-16 family, sources said.
Outfitted with an AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array and a new modular mission computer, the F-16V has an improved radar detection range and multi-target engagement capability, the ministry said.
The fighters are to have a helmet-mounted cue system linked to AIM-9X Sidewinder heat-seeking missiles, giving pilots the ability to “see and shoot,” it said.
Other advanced weapons the F-16Vs are to carry include the AGM-154C joint standoff weapon — or glide bomb — and AGM-88B high-speed anti-radiation missiles, it added.
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘ONE PERSON PER UNIT’: People undergoing home isolation cannot stay in a housing unit in which non-isolated people live, unless they have special approval Starting tomorrow, people under home isolation would be required to follow the “one person per housing unit” rule if in private housing, or stay at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the rules require people under home quarantine to be quarantined with one person per housing unit, or at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility. “Starting on March 1, individuals under home isolation will also be subject to the ‘one person per housing unit’ rule,” he said. “We
‘UNITED FRONT’: Grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or hosts is a Chinese tactic to spread propaganda to influence young people, a source said As part of its “united front” tactics, China has been grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or Internet program hosts, a source said on condition of anonymity. Over the past year, about 1,000 Taiwanese living in China have participated in training programs and competitions for show hosts held in several cities, including Xiamen, Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the source said on Saturday. “Beijing is taking advantage of the openness of the Internet to spread propaganda about acceptance of China, and about ‘national security,’” the source said, adding that Taiwan’s national security officials are racing to fix the problem. Chinese infiltration of