Delivery of upgraded Tiwanese F-16s scheduled for 2018 | World Defense

Delivery of upgraded Tiwanese F-16s scheduled for 2018

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Delivery of upgraded F-16s scheduled for 2018
2017/12/27


Taipei, Dec. 27 (CNA) Four upgraded F-16 fighter jets are scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force in 2018 by a state-owned aviation firm, Ministry of National Defense (MND) sources said Wednesday.

The sources said the four upgraded F-16s are currently undergoing ground testing by the Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC), and will undergo flight testing in early 2018 before being delivered to the Air Force later in the year.

The fighters are part of a NT$110 billion (US$3.68 billion) program by the government to launch a domestic upgrade of Taiwan's 144 F-16 A/B jets into F-16Vs, the largest and most important upgrade ever undertaken by the Air Force.

In order to carry out the program locally, the manufacturer of the jets -- Lockheed Martin in the United States -- sent engineers to Taiwan last year to help train local personnel at the AIDC on how to perform the upgrades.

According to the AIDC, the retrofit program includes installing advanced equipment on the fighters, including the AN/APG active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system, currently used in the U.S. F-22 and F-35 fighters.

In addition, the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System and the short-range air-to-air AIM-9 Sidewinder missile are also being installed in the upgraded F-16s.

After the delivery of the first four upgraded fighters next year, the MND aims to complete a comprehensive upgrade of its entire F-16 fleet by the end of 2023 to further improve the country's combat strength.

According to the MND, Taiwan is expected to become the first country in the world to operate an F-16V fleet.

In a hearing at the Legislative Yuan last year, Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said that the upgraded F-16 fleet is expected to help Taiwan take on China's most advanced Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 fighters. Former Air Force Command Chief of Staff Fan Ta-wei (范大維) has also said he has faith that the F-16V fleet will be able to protect Taiwan in case of a military crisis across the Taiwan Strait.

The U.S. approved the sale of 150 F-16A/B fighters to Taiwan in 1992. Over the years, Taiwan has lost six of them in accidents.

The F-16 is one of the three main types of combat aircraft in Taiwan's Air Force.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Frances Huang)
Enditem/J

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201712270007.aspx
 

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Taiwan says F-16 upgrade back on track, as it seeks recon pods that can watch China’s coastline
19 Oct, 2019

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Taiwanese F-16 fighter jets release flares during an exercise in the eastern part of the country on May 16, 2007. (Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images)


Taiwan’s defense minister said the country’s program to upgrade its F-16 fleet is expected to finish on schedule in 2022, despite ongoing delays.

In addition, the East Asian island’s government is also seeking new long-range reconnaissance pods for its F-16 fleet, which is set to be bolstered with more aircraft following the U.S. State Department’s approval of Taiwan’s request for 70 more new F-16 jets in August.

Speaking to Taiwan’s parliament, Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa admitted that the Phoenix Rising upgrade program had been “seriously” delayed, citing a shortage of manpower at Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, or AIDC, as the main cause. However, he added, the shortage has been alleviated by hiring 200 additional employees at AIDC’s purpose-built F-16 upgrade facility at Taichung.

Meanwhile, the chief of staff of Taiwan’s Air Force, Lt. Gen. Liu Renyuan, said the delays mean the number of upgraded F-16s expected this year has been reduced from 24 to 20, although he still expects the upgrade program to be completed as planned by 2022.

The $5.3 billion Phoenix Rising program will see Taiwan’s F-16A/B Block 20 aircraft upgraded to the F-16V standard. The upgrade sees the installation of the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 scalable agile beam radar, an active electronically scanned radar, to replace the older mechanically scanned set; new mission computers; improvements to the aircraft’s electronic warfare suite and avionics; and the integration of new precision-guided weapons.

Singapore and South Korea are also upgrading their F-16s to roughly similar standards with new radars and mission computers. Singapore is upgrading its fleet of 60 F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft, while South Korea is upgrading 134 F-16s.

Looking across the Taiwan Strait

Lu Yu-ling, a legislator who sits on Taiwan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, told parliament that the government will request the UTC Aerospace Systems MS-110 long-range oblique photography, or LOROP, pods from the United States.

The MS-110 is a derivative of the DB-110 LOROP pod, and it adds multi-spectral capability to the DB-110’s electro-optical/infrared capabilities.

According to UTC Aerospace Systems, the DB-110 is a 110-inch focal length reconnaissance system capable of producing high-resolution imagery from nadir to a standoff range of more than 80 nautical miles, day or night. The company also says the DB-110 can collect more than 10,000 square miles of high-resolution imagery per hour and “serves as the cornerstone of many air forces’ tactical and strategic [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capabilities.”

The new pods are slated to replace four Phoenix Eye LOROP pods used by the Taiwanese Air Force’s F-16s and eight Northrop RF-5E Tigereye reconnaissance aircraft. Critics of the Phoenix Eye pods have pointed to the technology’s inefficiency in night and all-weather environments, something that the MS-110 system is expected to resolve.

Lu also cited the range of the MS-110 in parliament, noting that the Taiwan Strait, between Taiwan from China, is 68 nautical miles at its narrowest point and that an MS-110-equipped F-16 will be able to observe parts of China’s coastline without leaving Taiwanese airspace.

China sees Taiwan as a rogue province following the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, when nationalist forces fled the mainland and established themselves on the island following their defeat to communist forces. China has not ruled out the use of force to reincorporate Taiwan into its territory.
 

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Taiwan says F-16 upgrade back on track, as it seeks recon pods that can watch China’s coastline
19 Oct, 2019

View attachment 11195
Taiwanese F-16 fighter jets release flares during an exercise in the eastern part of the country on May 16, 2007. (Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images)


Taiwan’s defense minister said the country’s program to upgrade its F-16 fleet is expected to finish on schedule in 2022, despite ongoing delays.

In addition, the East Asian island’s government is also seeking new long-range reconnaissance pods for its F-16 fleet, which is set to be bolstered with more aircraft following the U.S. State Department’s approval of Taiwan’s request for 70 more new F-16 jets in August.

Speaking to Taiwan’s parliament, Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa admitted that the Phoenix Rising upgrade program had been “seriously” delayed, citing a shortage of manpower at Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, or AIDC, as the main cause. However, he added, the shortage has been alleviated by hiring 200 additional employees at AIDC’s purpose-built F-16 upgrade facility at Taichung.

Meanwhile, the chief of staff of Taiwan’s Air Force, Lt. Gen. Liu Renyuan, said the delays mean the number of upgraded F-16s expected this year has been reduced from 24 to 20, although he still expects the upgrade program to be completed as planned by 2022.

The $5.3 billion Phoenix Rising program will see Taiwan’s F-16A/B Block 20 aircraft upgraded to the F-16V standard. The upgrade sees the installation of the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 scalable agile beam radar, an active electronically scanned radar, to replace the older mechanically scanned set; new mission computers; improvements to the aircraft’s electronic warfare suite and avionics; and the integration of new precision-guided weapons.

Singapore and South Korea are also upgrading their F-16s to roughly similar standards with new radars and mission computers. Singapore is upgrading its fleet of 60 F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft, while South Korea is upgrading 134 F-16s.

Looking across the Taiwan Strait

Lu Yu-ling, a legislator who sits on Taiwan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, told parliament that the government will request the UTC Aerospace Systems MS-110 long-range oblique photography, or LOROP, pods from the United States.

The MS-110 is a derivative of the DB-110 LOROP pod, and it adds multi-spectral capability to the DB-110’s electro-optical/infrared capabilities.

According to UTC Aerospace Systems, the DB-110 is a 110-inch focal length reconnaissance system capable of producing high-resolution imagery from nadir to a standoff range of more than 80 nautical miles, day or night. The company also says the DB-110 can collect more than 10,000 square miles of high-resolution imagery per hour and “serves as the cornerstone of many air forces’ tactical and strategic [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capabilities.”

The new pods are slated to replace four Phoenix Eye LOROP pods used by the Taiwanese Air Force’s F-16s and eight Northrop RF-5E Tigereye reconnaissance aircraft. Critics of the Phoenix Eye pods have pointed to the technology’s inefficiency in night and all-weather environments, something that the MS-110 system is expected to resolve.

Lu also cited the range of the MS-110 in parliament, noting that the Taiwan Strait, between Taiwan from China, is 68 nautical miles at its narrowest point and that an MS-110-equipped F-16 will be able to observe parts of China’s coastline without leaving Taiwanese airspace.

China sees Taiwan as a rogue province following the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, when nationalist forces fled the mainland and established themselves on the island following their defeat to communist forces. China has not ruled out the use of force to reincorporate Taiwan into its territory.
Taiwan alone has a stronger airforce than us. Mannn 100+ F-CK fighters, 180+ F-16s and 66 more to be added, all to-be V configuration...But taiwan has a stronger and more capable enemy (i.e china) than our
 

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