Skip to comments.U.S. moves to upgrade Taiwan's F-16 fighter fleet
Posted on 09/21/2011 11:50:29 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
U.S. moves to upgrade Taiwan's F-16 fighter fleet
Reuters) - The Obama administration formally notified the U.S. Congress on Wednesday of a potential $5.3 billion upgrade of Taiwan's existing fleet of U.S.-built F-16 fighter jets despite China's opposition to such arms deals.
The "retrofit" of 145 Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 A/B aircraft will give them essentially the same capabilities as late-model F-16 C/Ds that Taiwan has sought to deter any attack, U.S. officials told reporters ahead of the notification.
Beijing deems Taiwan a renegade province subject to unification by force if necessary. It regards U.S. arms sales to the self-ruled island as the top obstacle to improved ties between the United States and China, now the world's two biggest economies.
The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its notice that Taiwan had requested 176 state-of-the-art Active Electronically Scanned Array, or AESA, radar sets, in addition to a long list of advanced air-to-air missiles and other hardware for the F-16s sold by the United States in 1992.
AESA radar "offers a significant capability that would be able to maintain Taiwan's qualitative advantage" over currently deployed Chinese fighters, said Mark Stokes, a former Pentagon China desk chief who heads the Project 2049 Institute, an Asia security research group.
Raytheon Co and Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) are expected to compete to supply the AESA radar sets.
On Capitol Hill, a total of 47 of the 100 U.S. senators and 181 of the 435 members of the House
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Taiwan wanted to buy new F-16’s which would help with a lot of high paying jobs at Lockheed, but Obama’s commie masters said NO WAY and Obama caved. Now Reuters makes it look like he’s standing up to the Chi-coms. What a joke!
Obama may be more interested in war than helping out an
ally. He just might be stupid enough to think it will help.
Jugears and his partners in crime are eviserating our military!
Why offer retrofitting instead of the higher paying American jobs available through all new planes Taiwan wanted to buy?
What’s the operating time on their birds?
I can’t imagine those jets have much time left on their airframes.
There comes a point where you need to get the new airframes with the new systems in them. It’s not cost effective to keep upgrading older aircraft once they reach a certain “age”.
It also hurts your combat effectiveness when you have to limit training time in order to keep the operating hours down.
You also run into the problem of having jets down longer (non-mission capable) due to maintenance or mods.