F-16V Production Starts

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Taiwanese F-16V 93-0702/ED (c/n TA-01) is one of two currently undergoing weapons testing with Lockheed Martin at Fort Worth, Texas. The aircraft is seen loaded with two 250lb Mk81 bombs carried on multiple ejector racks. Carl Richards

The first four Taiwanese F-16As have entered the modification line for upgrade to F-16V at Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation facility at Taichung after their arrival there on January 16.

Lockheed Martin’s F-16V upgrade package includes: the Northrop Grumman APG- 83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar, an active electronically scanned array radar system; a Raytheon mission computer; Link 16-compatible datalink; Elbit Systemsdesigned state-of-the-art cockpit displays; a Raytheon enhanced electronic warfare system; and a ground collision avoidance system.

The F-16V first flew in October 2015. Lockheed Martin started flight testing of its radar in February 2016 and completed the F-16V test programme later that year.

A total of 142 Taiwanese F-16s will be upgraded to F-16V standard by 2022, with the annual production rate ramping up to 24 per year. Work will be carried out in the United States and in Taiwan, where USproduced kits will be installed.

The F-16V configuration is being offered as new production aircraft to India, Indonesia and Malaysia. F-16 production is currently planned to end in 2017.