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AIDC and Lockheed Martin to setup maintenance facility in Taiwan

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Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to deepen collaboration on providing maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) capability for F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft.

AIDC said that under the "strategic alliance", which was signed in Taichung City in Taiwan on 17 December, the two companies will establish an F-16 maintenance centre in Taiwan focused on supporting the Republic of China (RoC) Air Force's expanding F-16 fleets. AIDC is also expected to look to provide similar services to other F-16 operators in the Asia Pacific.

AIDC said the agreement, through which Lockheed Martin is expected to transfer supporting technologies to Taiwan as part of wider industrial co-operation obligations, is also aligned with the government's stated objective to ensure maintenance and support activity for frontline military equipment is carried out locally. The strategy is aimed at both ensuring military capability and boosting national industrial competencies.

The RoC Air Force operates about 140 F-16A/B models, which are being upgraded to F-16V Block 70 standard under a UD1.85 billion contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2012. The US corporation is undertaking this work in Taiwan in collaboration with AIDC, with the first upgraded F-16 delivered to the RoCAF in October 2018. Deliveries of these aircraft are scheduled to be complete by 2023.