TAIPEI (GDC) — Ahead of the delivery of 66 new F-16 fighter jets purchased from the U.S., the Taiwan Air Force is spending more than NT$3.3 billion (US$115.6 million) on new hangars, missile storage facilities, and other related installations at the Chihhang Air Base in Taitung.
Taiwan and the U.S. finalized the sale of 66 F-16V jets last August, with the first two expected to arrive in 2023. All 66 fighters will be delivered and ready for combat missions by 2026.
The aircraft will be flown to Taiwan by a team of American and Taiwanese pilots, Liberty Times cited a military official as saying.
According to the latest Ministry of National Defense budget report, the new construction project at Chihhang Air Base will meet the needs of future aircraft and their missions. The project includes a plan to build a double-span hangar to repair jets from the Air Force’s 7th Wing.
The project will cost approximately NT$3.32 billion (US$116.42 million) and is scheduled for completion by 2026.
The F-16V fighter is equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar, which helps pilots “detect, track, and identify a greater number of targets, faster and at longer ranges,” according to Northrop Grumman. The new variant’s Link 16 network lets it coordinate with ground forces, allowing it to contend with China’s Chengdu J-20 fighters, which have a smaller radar cross-section.
© 2021, GDC. © GDC and www.globaldefensecorp.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to www.globaldefensecorp.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.