Taiwan has begun receiving the first of its upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16V Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, Chinese state media reported on 20 October.
The first of 142 F-16A/B aircraft that are to be retrofitted to the latest F-16V Block 70 standard were delivered back to the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) by Lockheed Martin's Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) partners, the China News Agency quoted an anonymous RoCAF source as saying. Neither the RoCAF nor Lockheed Martin were immediately available for comment.
News of the first deliveries back to the RoCAF comes about 22 months after the first four aircraft were inducted into the upgrade programme at AIDC's Taichung facility in the northwest of Taiwan in January 2017. It is understood that about 24 aircraft per year will go through the process, which is expected to run through to the end of May 2022.
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