After delays, Taiwan Air Force will receive first of new F-16V fighters during 2024

Based on information published by local media. The Taiwan Air Force is close to starting delivery of 66 F-16V Block 70 fighters between 2024 and 2026.. A total of 65 Taiwanese pilots will also be sent to the United States to receive training and qualification on the new Viper version, according to the island's Ministry of Defense.

F-16 Block 70 of the Slovak Air Force – Source: Lockheed Martin

This is what was stated by a source the media spoke to Liberty Timesin which it was stated that the Taiwanese Air Force will receive at least the first batch of a total of 66 F-16V Block 70 aircraft this year, with the intention of completing delivery in 2026. This acquisition plan has been named as “Project Phoenix RisingIts allocations amounted to more than 8,000 million US dollars.

However, the road to what could be some sort of delivery confirmation has had its ups and downs. The original delivery schedule for the single- and two-seat aircraft was scheduled for 2023, but in recent months there has been a delay equivalent to US$19 billion in the transfer of military equipment from the United States to Taiwan. The issue led Taipei to begin evaluating the decision to extend the useful life of its Mirage 2000 aircraft in August.the aircraft that will be replaced by the future F-16V.

The Bahraini Air Force’s first new production F-16 Block 70 – Source: Lockheed Martin

On the other hand, pilot training will be conducted at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) in the United States. This unit is also responsible for training Taiwanese pilots on other weapons systems focused on this mission, such as the T-5 Brave Eagle, AT-3 Tzu Chung, and Beech T-34C Turbo Mentor. Finally, the media report that between 2020 and 2029, the Taiwanese Air Force has allocated a total of US$340 million to acquire six MS-110 reconnaissance capsules for use with future F-16V fighters acquired from the American company Lockheed Martin.

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*Images used for illustration: F-16 Block 70 – Credits Lockheed Martin.

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