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Six F-16 jets arrive in Taiwan from Arizona

Fighters return to Hualien for upgrade to F-16V level

File photo of F-16V fighter jets. 

File photo of F-16V fighter jets.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Six F-16 fighter jets arrived in Hualien County from Arizona via Hawaii as part of an upgrading program, the military said Friday (June 10).

Taiwan has started converting its 140 F-16A/B aircraft to F-16V status at a total cost of NT$110 billion (US$3.72 billion) while also ordering 66 new F-16V fighters. About 10 of the F-16A/B jets had been stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona for training purposes, but due to the upgrading program, they had to fly back to Taiwan via Hawaii.

Five single-seat and one two-seat aircraft arrived at Hualien Air Force Base around 3 p.m. Friday following frequent refueling in the air after their takeoff from Hawaii in the morning, CNA reported. According to a statement by the military, four Taiwan Air Force officers had been involved in the flights.

On June 7, another F-16 jet on the same route ended up on its nose at Honolulu Airport due to a landing gear malfunction, but nobody was injured in the incident, reports said.