Taiwan’s first F-16V modified by the local Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) began flight testing a few days ago. The aircraft, serial 6626, a single-seater, had been undertaking high-speed taxis tests since June.
The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) is spending $3.8bn to upgrade 145 surviving F-16A/Bs under the Phoenix Rising project. The first batch of four F-16A/B fighters began to arrive at the AIDC factory in Taichung at the beginning of 2017. These first four jets will be used as technical verification aircraft.
The upgraded F-16V introduces an AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, new mission computer and F-16C/D landing gear. The AN/APG-83 can simultaneously perform search, tracking and lock-on functions. For multiple targets, the detection range is increased by more than 30% compared with the original APG-66(V)3 radar. Overall battlefield detection capability is reportedly increased by 220%, and self-protection capability by 180%.
The F-16V will also be equipped with the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS). The fighter will be paired with the new AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapon and AGM-88B High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM). The F-16V will also receive a new electric warfare pod. Peter Ho
See the current, September issue of AFM for the first part of our Force Report on the ROCAF.