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Air Force to start upgrading F-16 fighter jets in 2016
Central News Agency
2014-04-04 10:35 PM
Taipei, April 4 (CNA) Taiwan's Air Force said Friday that it will begin the process of upgrading its fleet of over 100 F-16 A/B fighter jets in the second half of 2016. Before upgrading its entire fleet of the fighters, Taiwan has sent several of the planes to the United States for a trial to see if the upgrade will work. The planes will be brought back to Taiwan once they pass the testing process, the air force said. If all goes well, Taiwan will then buy the parts and gain the necessary expertise from the U.S. to upgrade the rest of its fleet. Air Force sources, however, did not give a timetable on when all the fighter jets can be upgraded. The United States had agreed to upgrade Taiwan's F-16 A/B fighters after Taiwan's government had repeatedly asked to buy 66 of the newer generation F-16 C/D fighters from the U.S., without getting an answer. Taiwan's government has argued that its military needs the more advanced C/D fighters to replace its aging fleets of indigenous, French and U.S.-built fighter aircraft. But it has been reported that after the upgrades, the A/B fighters will be as capable as the C/D fighters. (By Tang Pei-chun and James Lee)
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