Taiwan earns money off Korean fighter jet purchase

144 updated F-16 fighter jets ready in Taiwan by 2022

The F-16 aircraft is a coveted fighter jet.

The F-16 aircraft is a coveted fighter jet. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — South Korea’s recent purchase of F-16V fighter jets will put money into American and Taiwanese pockets.

Taiwan and the United States were the initial investors of the F-16V, with Taiwan originally fronting US$38 billion toward the aircraft's development, according to Now News. Even though the original plan was abandoned and many changes have taken place since, whenever any country purchases or upgrades an F-16V, Taiwan and U.S. alike continue to receive dividends.

The first of such F-16V sales was to Bahrain in September 2017, according to Now News.

The Republic of Korea Air Force will spend around US$1.2 billion on military upgrade by replacing 134 KF-16 fighter aircrafts with F-16V jets. The F-16V jets are an advanced version of the American Lockheed F-16 jets. In 1996 South Korea was authorized to produce 140 F-16s, which was called KF-16s to mark the country of manufacture.

Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) was granted similar permissions to update to 144 F-16Vs in January to be completed by 2022, according to Defense News.

Dozens of new features will potentially be added into the second-generation F-16 including “Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars, new mission computers, Embedded Inertial Navigation Systems/Global Positioning Systems and the Terma ALQ-213(V) Electronic Warfare Management Units,” according to Defense News.