Photo of the Day: US tanker shown refueling Taiwan F-16

AIT releases photo of tanker refueling Taiwan warplane as part of 'Security Cooperation Month'

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(Facebook, AIT photo)

(Facebook, AIT photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan, on Thursday (Aug. 27) shared a photo on Facebook showing a U.S. Air Force (USAF) tanker refueling a Taiwanese F-16 fighter jet.

On its Facebook page Thursday, the AIT uploaded four photos on its Facebook page to mark "Security Cooperation Month," which it described as "recognition of the multifaceted nature of the security cooperation activities that benefit both Taiwan and the United States." All four photos included F-16s purchased from the U.S. by Taiwan, in action, including both a recent photo of an inflight refueling mission and an archive image from a mission in 1997.

In the most recent photo of a refueling operation (above), what appears to be Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker can be seen extending its flying boom to enable a trailing F-16 to replenish its fuel supplies. According to the AIT post, the tanker is from the 21st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, while the fighter jet is one of 10 Taiwan has purchased to take part in the base's F-16 training program.

The next photo shows an F-16V taking off at Chiayi Air Force Base (AFB) during the country's annual five-day Han Kuang Exercise (漢光演習) in 2019. In 2017, Taiwan's aging F-16 fighter jets began undergoing the F-16V upgrade program, which will enable them to counter many of the capabilities of China's advanced J-20 stealth fighter jet.


(Facebook, AIT photo)

The Air Force F-16V fighter performance improvement program, codenamed "Phoenix," will retrofit the existing fleet of 145 F-16A/B fighters at a total cost of NT$110 billion yuan (US$3.46 billion) and will be completed by 2023. The retrofit kit, dubbed V for "Viper," includes active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a modern avionics subsystem, a high-resolution screen, a Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, and advanced weapons, among other features.

The third photo shows an F-16V conducting a routine mission over Chiayi AFB. The fourth and final photo shows an F-16 A/B Blk-20 being refueled by a USAF McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender over the Pacific Ocean in April of 1997, a little over a year after the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis.


(Facebook, AIT photo)


(Facebook, AIT photo)