Focus Taiwan: AIDC, Lockheed Martin MOU good for both sides: premier

He said a nation’s defense needs air defenses, air defenses need fighter jets, and fighter jets need maintenance, and the MOU paves the way for the two sides to establish an F-16 fighter maintenance center in the future.

AIDC Chairman Hu Kai-hung (胡開宏) said his company has been working closely with the defense contractor to have it transfer more aerospace technology to Taiwan and allow more F-16 parts to be produced locally before ultimately making Taiwan a regional hub for the aircraft’s repair and overhaul.

AIDC has now being authorized by the U.S. company to produce 23 parts that are used in F-16s, and it already has 800 Lockheed Martin certified technicians responsible for a project to retrofit F-16 A/B fighter jets with advanced technology, he said.

According to AIDC, Taiwan is qualified to serve as a maintenance base in Asia-Pacific region for F-16s because its Air Force has an existing fleet of 142 F-16 A/B fighters.

After taking delivery of the new F-16Vs, Taiwan military will have an F-16 fleet of over 200 planes, making the nation the largest F-16 user in the Asia-Pacific.

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