The first updated F-16V F-16V Viper (onboard number “6626”) fighter jet made its first flight and inaugurating an intensive flight trials campaign.
According to the Hccapa.com, in Taichung was started series flight tests of the first Lockheed Martin F-16A fighter jet of the Republic of China, which was modernized by the Taiwanese state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) in the version of F-16V Viper.
The flight trials campaign is carried out by American test pilots of Lockheed Martin Corporation, said in Taiwan media reports. The full upgrade program is supposed to wrap up some time between 2022 and 2023.
The first four F-16A/B fighters of the Taiwan Air Force entered the AIDC facility in Taichung in January 2017, these aircraft are being modernized as experienced and must undergo an extensive flight trials campaign.
The most advanced version of the F-16 fighter fleet, the V class would give Taiwan a bolstered ability to defend its territory.
It is assumed that AIDC will modernize 24 fighters per year, and the deadline for the completion of work is now considered to be 2023. The total cost of the modernization program is estimated at $ 5.3 billion.
The Air Forces Monthly reported that the upgraded F-16V introduces AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, new mission computer and F-16C/D landing gear. The AN/APG-83 can simultaneously perform a search, tracking, and lock-on functions. For multiple targets, the detection range is increased by more than 30% compared with the original APG-66(V)3 radar. Overall battlefield detection capability is reportedly increased by 220%, and self-protection capability by 180%.