Reported that the delivery on October 20 is one of the contents of Taiwans defense authoritys Phoenix Exhibition plan, which was launched in 2016 to upgrade 144 F-16 Falcon A/B fighters from the Taiwan Air Force to F-16 Viper fighters by 2023. At present, three other F-16 fighter planes of the Taiwan Air Force are being revamped at a factory of Hanxiang Aviation Industry Co., Ltd. Hanxiang Company in Taichung is Lockheed Martins partner in Taiwan.
The total cost of the upgrade plan is estimated at around $5 billion 300 million, and the Taiwan authorities have recently approved additional funding.
The picture shows the F-16 fighter equipped by the Taiwan air force.
According to the original plan, the first upgraded F-16 Viper fighter will contain 10 aircraft. However, the delay in US software testing reduced the number of aircraft to 4. Before 2023, about 25 to 28 aircraft are expected to undergo modernisation every year. The first remaining 3 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2018. The two F-16A/B fighters of the Taiwan air force have been upgraded to F-16 in the United States. In October 2015, the first one of the upgraded F-16 fighters completed the first flight in Fort Worth, Texas.
All F-16A/B aircraft in Taiwan will be upgraded with advanced avionics, including new flight management system, new active electronic scanning array fire control radar, enhanced electronic warfare system and helmet display system.
U.S. media quoted Lockheed Martins website as saying that the core configuration of the F-16 viper includes active phased array (AESA) radar, avionics system based on modern commercial mature technology, large-scale high-resolution display and a large-capacity high-speed data bus. Through Link-16 battlefield data link, sniper advanced targeting pod, advanced weapons, precise global positioning system navigation and automatic ground collision avoidance system, the combat capability of the aircraft has been enhanced.
It is reported that Lockheed Martins active phased array radar system mentioned above is Northrop Grummans AN/APG-83 variable agile beam radar.
As part of the Phoenix Exhibition upgrade plan, Taiwans defense authorities are also seeking to purchase additional over-the-horizon air-to-air missiles for their F-16 Viper fighter aircraft, including more AIM-120 missiles, as well as other types of missiles designed and manufactured by Taiwan itself, such as the Tianjian II, which is about to be put into actual combat. Air to air missiles. (compile / Li Fengqin)