The first of about 140 considerably upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16Vs has been re-delivered to the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) in Taiwan.
The RoCAF F-16 fleet are F-16A Block 20s built in the early 1990s, but will be substantially upgraded to the F-16V configuration with the addition of an AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, large-format high-resolution cockpit display, a high-volume high-speed data bus, and a Link-16 datalink.
Also included in the F-16V upgrade is a Sniper advanced targeting pod, the AIM-9X AAM, conformal fuel tanks, precision GPS navigation, a modular mission computer, a Terma ALQ-213(V) electronic warfare suite, automated ground collision avoidance system, new heavier-gauge landing gear and other structural modifications, and a helmet-mounted cueing system.
The upgraded aircraft was the first performed by AIDC in Taiwan from a kit supplied by Lockheed Martin, and AIDC is expected to conduct up to 28 upgrades per year from kits until the fleet is complete in late 2022. The aircraft will be based at Chiayi and Hualien bases.
A training detachment of RoCAF F-16s is currently based at Luke AFB is Arizona, and is scheduled to soon relocate to Davis Monthan AFB as Luke transitions to an all-F-35 facility.