The State Department has approved the sale of 66 F-16Vs to Taiwan

/, Industry, News/The State Department has approved the sale of 66 F-16Vs to Taiwan

Source: Gladius Defense & Security


The US State Department has approved the order of 66 Lockheed Martin F-16Vs to Taiwan along with 75 General Electric GE F110 turbofans. In addition subsystems and armaments were also included in this sale worth $ 8 billion. The Lockheed Martin F-16V is the latest variant of the F-16 series that launched in 1979 back when the aircraft was under the General Dynamics umbrella. The Lockheed Martin F-16V utilizes several systems developed for the fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35.  This includes a Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 SABR AESA Fire Control Radar, digital touch screen displays for data management and improved situational awareness for the pilot through the JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System). The F-16V can provide the Taiwanese with a solid defense against air threats, surface warfare threats and potential ground threats.


The F-16V has the ability to provide a solid defense of Taiwanese airspace from a potential Chinese attack by utilizing the AIM-120 AMRAAM beyond visual range active radar-guided missiles and receiving data from E-2C airborne early warning aircraft. The F-16V also has the maneuverability and design characteristics to be effective in visual range air-to-air combat. This includes a g load factor of 9 and a thrust to weight ratio of 1.095.  For defense against surface vessels and ground targets Taiwan’s F-16Vs will receive Sniper APT targeting pods and JDAM KITs which allow the Taiwanese Air Force to convert their unguided MK82,84s to GPS guided ordinance. These can be effective against large surface vessels and static targets.


The F-16V also provides Taiwan with an effective interdiction platform that can strike ballistic missile installations if needed. This capability comes from the F-16Vs electronic warfare package which includes the AN/ALQ-11 A(V)4 Airborne Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) and ALE-50 towed decoy. These systems can help deter threats from surface-to-air missiles and threat aircraft.


These capabilities provided by the 66 F-16Vs can create an effective 360-degree defensive bubble against air and sea threats. The order of the F-16Vs for Taiwan is the first major purchase of military aircraft from the island nation since the delivery of early model 1980s era F-16As and Mirage 2000s in the 1990s. The delivery has raised concerns in China that possesses a large uncontested fleet of domestically manufactured J-11B Flankers and Russian built Su-30 and Su-35 Flankers.


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