The Taiwan Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon test fires a US-made AIM-120 missile for the first time.
Taiwan has expressed interest in purchasing up to 66 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighters. The F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter is equipped with an Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system, upgraded avionics, and a high-speed high-volume data bus, among others.
Taiwan received up to 66 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets from the United States.
Taiwan’s ministry asked the fighter jets from the United States to demonstrate determination and defense capabilities to defend themselves.
The US officially responded to the request and the ministry did not specify the exact number of planes to be purchased or the model.
The US first agreed to sell 66 F-16 Fighting Falcons to Taiwan in September last year, but at that time the US kept the weαpσns in Guam.
Washington sent 66 F-16 Fighting Falcons to Taiwan Last year, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense also purchased 218 more AIM-120 and placed them in Hualien and Chiayi for the F-16 fleet stationed there.
Taiwanese Ministry of Defense officials pointed out that Taiwanese Air Force pilots first tested the F-16 Fighting Falcon at Andersen Air Force Base Guam, while the second at the air force base in Arizona. Tuesday’s exercise was the first time the F-16 Fighting Falcon was used in Taiwan.
The Taiwanese Air Force has also tested the advanced AIM-120 medium-range air-to-air missile, marking the first time an American-made projectile has been launched in the country.
Four F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, each armed with two AIM-120 medium-range missiles and two AIM-9X short-range missiles, took off from Chiayi Air Force Base on Tuesday. the jets each launched an AIM-120 missile, both of which successfully hit their targets. After completing the exercise, the four planes returned to base.
The Ministry of Defense stated that it was satisfied with the results but pointed out that it was a secret mission. The ministry also mentioned that it is cooperating with the Air Force in conducting weekly combat readiness exercises, as well as conducting target exercises involving air, surface and ground weαpσns.
an analyst at the National Defense and Security Research Institute, pointed out that the fact that the Biden administration is willing to authorize Taiwan to test technologically advanced and sensitive weαpσns given its proximity to Taiwan demonstrates Washington’s friendly and trusting attitude toward Taiwan.
The Democratic Progressive Party legislator said he believed the event could be construed as a sign of mutual trust between the US and Taiwan, while also showing Beijing that Taiwan is militarily prepared to resist a Chinese attack.