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Ceremony held to mark weapons upgrade for IDF jets
Central News Agency
2014-01-16 11:06 AM
Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) A ceremony was held at an air base in the southern city of Tainan Thursday to mark the completion of the first batch of upgraded indigenous defense fighter (IDF) jets and the installation of a new weapons system.

The ceremony, which was attended by President Ma Ying-jeou, Defense Minister Yen Ming, as well as various government officials and lawmakers, marked the upgrading of the 71 IDF fighters at the Tainan air base by Taichung-based Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. The upgrade program was mainly to strengthen the air-to-land strike capacity of the jets. All of the IDF C/D fleet at the Tainan base is now capable of carrying the Wan Chien bomb, which was researched and produced by the military-run Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology.

During the ceremony,an IDF C/D fighter pilot demonstrated a series of aerial skills such as inverted flying, rotations and flying at low altitude.

There was also the flyover of IDF fighters, followed by France-made Mirage 2000-5 jet fighters and F-16 A/B fighters. The planes are Taiwan's main combat aircraft. Similar to the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon employed by the U.S. military, the Wan Chien can strike targets from a distance to take out an enemy airfield without exposing the IDF to anti-aircraft fire.

The upgrade program has also improved the IDFs' flight control, avionics and radar systems, the Air Force said. Another 56 IDF fighters at the Ching Chuan Kang air base in Taichung are set to be given the upgrade program later this year.

All of Taiwan's IDFs are estimated to be capable of carrying the Wan Chien systems by early 2017. (By Elaine Hou)

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