The U.S. State Department has approved a potential sale of 66 F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft and related equipment and support to Taiwan.
According to details released by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 20 August, the potential sale has an estimated contract value of $8 billion and includes F110 General Electric engines, radars, weapons and a support package for all sixty-six fighter aircraft.
According to a statement released by DSCA, new fighter aircraft for Taiwan jets will be protected by AN/ALQ-211 A(V)4 Airborne Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS), AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispensers and ALE-50 towed decoys.
The principle contractor will be Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, MD.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the recipient’s capability to provide for the defense of its airspace, regional security, and interoperability with the United States,” said DSCA, adding that “The recipient currently operates the F-16A/B. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft and services into its arms forces.”
Also noted that this proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.
The F-16 Block 70 is the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration, combining numerous capability and structural upgrades developed by Lockheed Martin.
According to the company, Block 70 builds on its thousands of predecessors and proven combat experience, while also bringing new technology to the forefront.