Taiwan to obtain F-16 Viper and a training and support program

The US Department of Defense has approved a training and support program for Taiwanese Lockheed-Martin F-16 pilots at Luke AFB, Arizona.

Taiwan to obtain F 16 Viper and a training and support program US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons fighter aircrat ftying over Florida’s Emerald Coast (Picture source: US Air Force)

This decision follows another that grants delivery of aircraft to the island. The $ 500 million training package includes flight training, participation in exercises with the US Air Force.

In addition to the purchase of 66 Lockheed-Martin F-16 "Viper" Block 70/75, Taiwan is upgrading 113 F-16 A / B to the F-16V standard with a new electronic scanning radar .

According to the Taiwan Air Force (ROCAF), this future purchase is expected to replace the fleet of Northrop F-5 E / F "Tiger II" aircrafts at Zhi-Hang Air Base, in the Taitung County.

The Taiwanese army began work on the purchase of new F16 "Vipers" in August, and the Department of National Defense hopes to request a quote from the United States by the end of the year. For their part, the United States will confirm the price and availability in the middle of 2019. Payments would then be made through the budget of the Department of National Defense for 2020.
The United States is open to the possibility of licensing Taiwan's intellectual property and production line expertise for F-16V production, providing an opportunity for the development of the industry and Taiwanese employment, according to reports.

According to international prices, the sale of 66 new F-16 "Viper" fighters would represent about 10 billion US dollars (with armament, spare parts and simulators). The price would be higher if Taiwan decides to set up an assembly line on site.