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Mortyman
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US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:06 am

US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration has informally green lit a potential major arms sale to Taiwan involving dozens of new Lockheed Martin F-16V fighter jets, according to administration and Capitol Hill sources.


https://www.defensenews.com/congress/20 ... -tensions/


China is not gonna be happy about that ...
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:38 am

Mortyman wrote:
US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration has informally green lit a potential major arms sale to Taiwan involving dozens of new Lockheed Martin F-16V fighter jets, according to administration and Capitol Hill sources.


https://www.defensenews.com/congress/20 ... -tensions/


China is not gonna be happy about that ...

Not sure if will make that much of a difference to China. Sure they will protest politically but Taiwan was already having their fleet of F-16s upgraded to the V standard anyway so this adds a few more frames but hardly tipping the balance of power.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:56 am

Is it again for 66 frames? Or have things changed?

I think you are right about China, they will do the formal protest routine, but in the core, they do not care.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
texl1649
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:32 pm

The F-15X, as the AAM bus that it is to be, would have/could be much more disruptive.
 
trex8
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:02 am

texl1649 wrote:
The F-15X, as the AAM bus that it is to be, would have/could be much more disruptive.

Probably too expensive
And there is quality and quantity as they say
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:34 am

trex8 wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
The F-15X, as the AAM bus that it is to be, would have/could be much more disruptive.

Probably too expensive
And there is quality and quantity as they say

Agree. Not only too expensive to operate per hour compared to the F-16V but introducing a whole additional airframe, when the Taiwanese already have F-5, F-16, Mirage 2000 and F-CK-1 in their fleet, seems unnecessary.

I doubt highly an F-15 with a few extra AAMs is going to make a difference. If Taiwan acquires the racks the F-16V has the ability to fly with at least 10 AAMs, 8 AIM-120s and 2 AIM-9Xs which seems more than sufficient to me.

Image

Taiwan won't need massive range so fly with the conformals and eliminate the drop tanks to slick the profile as much as possible.
 
trex8
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:03 am

Seems Mirages will be kept. Makes sense, replace the F5Es. Even if the Mirages are expensive they are decent kit.

Although the air force has already decided that the planned purchase of F-16Vs would not lead to a reduction in its number of Dassault Mirage 2000s, such a reduction should be considered, as it would free up Hsinchu Air Base for F-16Vs, he said.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ ... 2003720749

Wonder if they will stay with Pratt or go GE?
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:19 pm

Ozair wrote:
trex8 wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
The F-15X, as the AAM bus that it is to be, would have/could be much more disruptive.

Probably too expensive
And there is quality and quantity as they say

Agree. Not only too expensive to operate per hour compared to the F-16V but introducing a whole additional airframe, when the Taiwanese already have F-5, F-16, Mirage 2000 and F-CK-1 in their fleet, seems unnecessary.

I doubt highly an F-15 with a few extra AAMs is going to make a difference. If Taiwan acquires the racks the F-16V has the ability to fly with at least 10 AAMs, 8 AIM-120s and 2 AIM-9Xs which seems more than sufficient to me.

Image

Taiwan won't need massive range so fly with the conformals and eliminate the drop tanks to slick the profile as much as possible.


The F-15EX carries up to 22 AAMs, more than double the load of the F-16V. So, buying and flying the F-15EX is like 2 F-16Vs
 
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bikerthai
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:47 pm

kc135topboom wrote:
The F-15EX carries up to 22 AAMs


The EX is new and may not be exportable. The QA is almost as good, can be upgraded to similar capacity, and should be more easily exportable.

Curious though. In term of air defense. would it be more cost effective to order more Patriots as any full scale conflict with China would assume that the airfield will be cratered at the early stages of the conflict?

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:54 pm

kc135topboom wrote:

The F-15EX carries up to 22 AAMs, more than double the load of the F-16V. So, buying and flying the F-15EX is like 2 F-16Vs

Not quite. While the F-15EX (or QA) can conceivably carry 22 AAMs that load out is for internet advertising, not actual conflict.

Firstly that load out would impact both range and speed of the aircraft significantly. If you asked any F-15 pilot across the world if he wanted either double his weapon load or double his fuel he would take the fuel in a heat beat. Tactically, it is very unlikely that a single airframe will be able to identify, track and launch against 22 targets, or even 11 targets should he launch two missiles against each. Both virtual and real exercises such as Red Flag demonstrate that jets don’t need to fly out with massive AAM loads to complete their missions, even in high threat scenarios. They run out of fuel long before they typically run out of munitions.

Second, tactically how much better would it be for Taiwan to have two jets in one area that a single jet with a larger payload? A single F-15EX is not going to have better situational awareness than two F-16Vs, nor is the single F-15 going to be able to provide mutual support, nor will it be able to split if necessary and use its AAMs to target adversaries that are moving in different directions.

bikerthai wrote:
The EX is new and may not be exportable. The QA is almost as good, can be upgraded to similar capacity, and should be more easily exportable.

And likely more than twice the cost to operate per hour than the F-16V while introducing a new type to the Taiwanese fleet.

bikerthai wrote:
Curious though. In term of air defense. would it be more cost effective to order more Patriots as any full scale conflict with China would assume that the airfield will be cratered at the early stages of the conflict?

bt

Taiwan also has the TK-III which is considered close to as capable as the Patriot. RAND did an excellent study on Taiwanese Air defence options in 2016, including the trade off between a large fighter force and a large SAM force in the following study, https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1051.html The report also considers the implications of Taiwan replacing its current fighter fleet with the F-35B, and utilise the reduced runway requirements and advanced stealth that airframe offers, to offset the loss of runways.

You can download the HTML for free and I suggest having a read to understand the pros, cons and costs involved.
 
tommy1808
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:43 am

Ozair wrote:
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1051.html The report also considers the implications of Taiwan replacing its current fighter fleet with the F-35B, and utilise the reduced runway requirements and advanced stealth that airframe offers, to offset the loss of runways.
.


The US admin should just go and sell them F35. And train with them, red flag and all.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:46 am

tommy1808 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1051.html The report also considers the implications of Taiwan replacing its current fighter fleet with the F-35B, and utilise the reduced runway requirements and advanced stealth that airframe offers, to offset the loss of runways.
.


The US admin should just go and sell them F35. And train with them, red flag and all.

Best regards
Thomas

How about the next level, create a Flying Tigers American Volunteer Group where US personnel take a temporary leave of absence from the US Services and operate in an all US unit out of Taiwan for three years before posting back to the US to return to Active Duty. The Taiwanese acquire the F-35B but it is operated solely by US personnel (perhaps paid by Taiwan for contractor services). That gets over the security issues, gives the US Military additional local operational experience which benefits potential future operations in that region and provides a suitable deterrent against China.
 
tommy1808
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:11 am

Ozair wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1051.html The report also considers the implications of Taiwan replacing its current fighter fleet with the F-35B, and utilise the reduced runway requirements and advanced stealth that airframe offers, to offset the loss of runways.
.


The US admin should just go and sell them F35. And train with them, red flag and all.

Best regards
Thomas

How about the next level, create a Flying Tigers American Volunteer Group where US personnel take a temporary leave of absence from the US Services and operate in an all US unit out of Taiwan for three years before posting back to the US to return to Active Duty. The Taiwanese acquire the F-35B but it is operated solely by US personnel (perhaps paid by Taiwan for contractor services). That gets over the security issues, gives the US Military additional local operational experience which benefits potential future operations in that region and provides a suitable deterrent against China.


I like that idea. It has build in trip wire troops as well.
Would also have enormous potential to train ROCAF Pilots to make the best out of their older generation fighters against stealthy opponents.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
trex8
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:54 pm

dsca notifcation out yesterday, looks like they chose GE engines.
there was talk once of upgrading their Pratt -220 E to a higher thrust 220P, anyone know if its still on the table?

https://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/taipe ... 16cd-block
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:54 pm

The expected Chinese rhetoric has arrived.

China Threatens Retaliation Over U.S. Arms Sale to Taiwan

China vowed retaliation against a proposed $8 billion U.S. sale of advanced fighter jets to Taiwan, threatening to impose sanctions on American firms participating in such a deal.

“China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests, including imposing sanctions on the U.S. companies involved in the arm sales,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a Wednesday briefing in Beijing. “They constitute severe interference in China’s internal affairs and undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests.”

The 66 advanced Lockheed Martin Corp. F-16 jets, approved by the Trump administration, represents a boost for the island’s military -- and an even bigger boon for President Tsai Ing-wen as she faces a stiff campaign for re-election. It marks a major advance for the island’s aging air defense capabilities, even if a base model of the fighter plane has been in its skies for almost half a century.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -to-taiwan

trex8 wrote:
dsca notifcation out yesterday, looks like they chose GE engines.
there was talk once of upgrading their Pratt -220 E to a higher thrust 220P, anyone know if its still on the table?

I would be surprised if they did that. It simply isn't needed and seems to me like a waste of money that could be better spent on upping the availability of the fleet as a whole.
 
trex8
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:57 pm

Ozair wrote:
The expected Chinese rhetoric has arrived.


China vowed retaliation against a proposed $8 billion U.S. sale of advanced fighter jets to Taiwan, threatening to impose sanctions on American firms participating in such a deal.

“China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests, including imposing sanctions on the U.S. companies involved in the arm sales,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a Wednesday briefing in Beijing. “They constitute severe interference in China’s internal affairs and undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests.”



Cant wait to see them sanction GE. Should I start buying Pratt and Rolls Royce shares??
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:33 pm

As Taiwan waits for confirmation it can acquire 66 new F-16Vs they are upgraded their older aircraft to the same standard but the program continues to see delays. Some of those are related to changes to the contract by adding additional avionics and weapons but it looks like delays to starting the local upgrade are flowing onwards. The primary issue is that today there are 32 aircraft in rework out of a total of 145 F-16s in their fleet, so approximately 22% of their fleet. Add that another 16 aircraft are permanently based in the US and you have 33% of the fleet unavailable for operations.

The plan is for the whole fleet upgrade to be completed by 2023 with an average of 24 jets being upgraded every year.

Delays mount to Taiwan F-16V upgrade

A programme to upgrade Taiwan’s fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds to the latest V-model standard is running behind schedule, leaving the country facing a capability gap.

Taiwanese defence minister Yen Teh-fa told the country's parliament earlier in October that so far, just four upgraded fighters have been handed back to the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF).

Local firm Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) is performing the modification at its Taichung facility under contract to Lockheed.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... de-461729/
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:15 pm

Well despite COVID-19 or perhaps using it is a good distraction the Taiwanese purchase of the F-16V looks to be going ahead. These should provide some much needed new airframes for the Taiwanese Air Force. It will also keep the F-16 line in Greenville going for a long time and probably reduce production costs for any other interested Air Forces seeking a new fighter.

Taiwanese F-16V procurement activated with engine contract

Taiwan's planned procurement of 66 newbuild Lockheed Martin F-16V Fighting Falcon combat aircraft appears to have been activated with an engine contract announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 28 April.

The deal covers an unspecified number of General Electric F110-GE-129 increased performance engines for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers, including Taiwan. While the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) already fields F-16C/D fighters, including a number that have already been upgraded to F-16V Block 70/72 standard in an ongoing modernisation plan, all are currently powered by Pratt & Whitney P100-PW-220 engines.

In August 2019 the US State Department cleared Taiwan to buy 66 of the latest F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft (the F-16C/D Block 70/72 is more commonly designated F-16V). This was followed in October 2019 by the President of the Republic of China, Tsai Ing-wen, tweeting that the country's Legislative Yuan - one of the five branches of government - had approved funding for the 66 new F-16Vs "in a multi-partisan effort that reflects our collective will to defend our liberty and sovereignty", although no contracts associated with the procurement had been announced to date.

As the most advanced iteration of the F-16 to date, the F-16V features the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar (derived from the F-16E/F Block 60 AN/APG-80, and also known as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar [SABR]), a new Raytheon mission computer, the Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic-warfare system, and a ground-collision avoidance system.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/95831/tai ... e-contract
 
texl1649
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:39 pm

Tremendous news. No reason at all not to move forward with this sale. Congrats Taiwan!
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:02 am

What Taiwan really needs is a mix of the F-16V, F-15SE/2040C, F-35C, a squadron of E-7 AEW&C, and 2 squadrons of KC-135Rs.
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:18 am

kc135topboom wrote:
What Taiwan really needs is a mix of the F-16V, F-15SE/2040C, F-35C, a squadron of E-7 AEW&C, and 2 squadrons of KC-135Rs.

Why not throw in twenty B-1s, two squadrons of P-8s, some global hawk, a U-2 and a RC-135 as well. :roll:

They don't have the money for such a wish list. The Taiwanese Air Force is structured for DCA, they aren't attacking the mainland anytime soon and don't need most of the above. Some additional AEW&C would be good but in that case better to top up the existing E-2 fleet than go for a whole new capability. The F-16V is an excellent additional as it builds on their existing fleet. The last thing Taiwan needs is addition aircraft types to complicate their maintenance and radically increase their cost base. These 66 new F-16Vs may end up replacing the F-5s and Mirage 2000s which would harmonise their fighter fleet to just two types and bring their F-16 above the magic 150 number for sustainment.

If Taiwan were to add any new fighter in the future the F-35B would be the best option given they don't need the range of the other variants but can use the STOVL capabilities of the aircraft to remove their reliance on runways and long stretches of road. Obviously the stealth characteristics significantly improve their survivability as well. The Rand study posted earlier in the thread https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1051.html is an excellent read and really shows how well structured the current fleet is. That would only improve, and reduce peacetime costs, with the removal of the Mirage and F-5.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:44 am

Ozair wrote:
... and bring their F-16 above the magic 150 number for sustainment...


Can you elaborate on what makes 150 so magical? Contractor support levels?
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:09 am

LyleLanley wrote:
Ozair wrote:
... and bring their F-16 above the magic 150 number for sustainment...


Can you elaborate on what makes 150 so magical? Contractor support levels?

From a MITRE study published last year but the answer is primarily fixed cost.

The third overarching finding concerns aircraft fleet sizes and the total cost of owning and operating them. Total aircraft operations and sustainment (O&S) costs have two components.
Fixed costs, such as the need to maintain specialized training and maintenance networks, are independent of flight hours. Variable costs, such as fuel expenses, are more directly tied to flight hours. With few exceptions, the fixed costs are far larger than the variable costs, and fixed costs strongly depend on fleet size.

The U.S. Air Force has historically used cost per flying hour as its primary metric for aircraft costs for budget planning and deliberations, but this metric tends to mask the underlying fixed costs of ownership. Regardless of flight hours, there are economies of scale for larger fleets of aircraft because fixed costs are amortized over more aircraft. Average fleet sustainment costs per aircraft are not linear: Small fleets have dramatically higher costs than large fleets, and based on historical data, the knee in the curve is approximately 150 aircraft. Total cost per aircraft for fleet sizes of less than 150 rise dramatically, whereas they taper off equally significantly for fleets of more than 150.

Past data follows this pattern regardless of the aircraft or mission, and it also is reflected in aircraft with large inventories that gradually decrease due to retirements, as indicated in the diagram for the F-15, F-16, and KC-135. There is much work to do to achieve economic sustainment for the F-35A and B-21, but the Air Force should seek to exploit the economies of scale inherent in larger inventories and avoid small fleets when procuring new aircraft.

https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/Documen ... -Study.pdf

A bigger graphic is available within the PDF.
Image
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:45 am

Ozair wrote:
From a MITRE study published last year but the answer is primarily fixed cost.


Right on, thank you! Very informative article.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
CX747
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:26 pm

Congratulations to Taiwan and Lockheed. The F-16V will serve them very well. This was going to get green lighted by the USG and definitely got approved due to China's involvement in lying to the world about what happened and came out of Wuhan.

We could argue all day and night regarding the F-15EX vs the F-16V. Both aircraft are very good but Taiwan doesn't operate 15s, so the arguement here is moot. Taiwan has a large fleet of F-16s that are being modernized and this new order will create a very well synchronized fleet.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
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bikerthai
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Fri May 01, 2020 11:49 am

CX747 wrote:
definitely got approved due to China's involvement in lying to the world about what happened and came out of Wuhan.


Chinese misinformation has nothing to do with the approval of the sale. Past Chinese transgressions has not stop US administrations (including the current one) from cozying up to the Chinese government and economy.

The decision is probably more to do with the constant elevation on tension in the Taiwan Straight, with the recent lasing of a P-8A as an example.

From the political front, the failure of the Hong Kong experiment with the local governance basically pushed by the way side during this Covid crisis, which will no doubt move Taiwan that much further toward independence, makes the F-16 purchase much more crucial.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
744SPX
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Fri May 01, 2020 4:13 pm

Interesting that they are not purchasing the F110-132. Is there some kind of problem with that engine that only UAEAF bought it? Its more powerful and more advanced than the -129. You'd think it would be a no-brainer.
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sat May 02, 2020 12:01 am

744SPX wrote:
Interesting that they are not purchasing the F110-132. Is there some kind of problem with that engine that only UAEAF bought it? Its more powerful and more advanced than the -129. You'd think it would be a no-brainer.

The increased thrust probably comes at the expense of time between overhaul. The thrust increase isn't warranted for almost all operators and the likely increased cost of that specific variant, as well as some parts that are probably unique to that variant, would also increase the overall sustainment cost.

What is more interesting is that they are buying the F110 at all. The rest of their fleet are F100 jets so taking the next 66 with F110 will complicate sustainment. They will likely run the aircraft similar to the USAF where a whole wing uses the same engine. These new aircraft then will probably all be based in the same location.

The dsca announcement is here https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/t ... 16cd-block and states they are buying nine spare engines.

I also can't see any conformal fuel tanks in the request either so Taiwan will be one of the few non US operators of Blk 50 or later jets that don't use the conformals.
 
trex8
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sat May 02, 2020 12:33 am

744SPX wrote:
Interesting that they are not purchasing the F110-132. Is there some kind of problem with that engine that only UAEAF bought it? Its more powerful and more advanced than the -129. You'd think it would be a no-brainer.

They may not need the power for their requirements or they may not have been allowed that power by Washington . The reason they were sold in 1992 the "inferior A model" block 20 (essentially new build A models with all the Nato Mid Life Upgrade), which actually had better avionics than the block 40 C/D then available for export, was because Washington does not want Taipei bombing Shanghai! US (and other export) block 40/50s actually had to wait till the CCIP upgrade in the early 2000s to get the same displays, MMC, IFF as the MLU/block 20. Not wanting them to bomb mainland China is also the reason their IDF is a little underpowered.
More interesting is why they are not staying with Pratt. While there may be some advantage to keeping all the engines Pratt powered for logistics/maintenance, there is also some advantage in diversifying suppliers with a large fleet in case some problem grounds your whole fleet . Seems all these new planes will be going to Taitung airbase on the east coast replacing F5s.
Also maybe ROCAF still has sour taste from one of their first F16 losses in the first few years of operation. One crashed due to engine problems. It transpired Pratt had taken a component, which was coming from a new supplier, to check it after engine assembly was finished and was reinstalled wrongly by Pratt when engine was shipped to Ft Worth. Taipei thought the loss should be covered by Pratt who refused to cover the loss. I don't know the details for the Peace Fenghuang program but most FMS sales have no actual warranty to the final customer as actual purchasing customer is technically the Pentagon (who arent in the warranty business despite running an extensive operation making the US taxpayer lots of money on foreign governments money). Thats why sometimes in DSCA arms sales announcements or DoD contract awards for export customers, you see components of the contract specifically for a warranty in addition to the actual equipment. I've only seen these in relation to items like missiles, never to bigger platforms etc. Usually only taken up by big Nato customers.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sat May 02, 2020 7:54 am

Ozair wrote:
744SPX wrote:
Interesting that they are not purchasing the F110-132. Is there some kind of problem with that engine that only UAEAF bought it? Its more powerful and more advanced than the -129. You'd think it would be a no-brainer.

The increased thrust probably comes at the expense of time between overhaul. The thrust increase isn't warranted for almost all operators and the likely increased cost of that specific variant, as well as some parts that are probably unique to that variant, would also increase the overall sustainment cost.

What is more interesting is that they are buying the F110 at all. The rest of their fleet are F100 jets so taking the next 66 with F110 will complicate sustainment. They will likely run the aircraft similar to the USAF where a whole wing uses the same engine. These new aircraft then will probably all be based in the same location.

The dsca announcement is here https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/t ... 16cd-block and states they are buying nine spare engines.

I also can't see any conformal fuel tanks in the request either so Taiwan will be one of the few non US operators of Blk 50 or later jets that don't use the conformals.

The F110-132 engine is also no longer made by GE as well.

The UAE F-16's needed the extra power because if you look at a UAE F-16, they have a lot more equipment sticking out of the aircraft, such as the integrated targeting pod, and the AN/APG-80 radar as fitted have massively increased demands on cooling and electrical power (along with being just very heavy) compared to later generations of AESA radars, which increased demands on the engine.

Also, the engine is far less mature than the F110-129, and the F110-129 has a very solid record of reliability.
 
texl1649
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Sun May 03, 2020 1:40 pm

GE as stated has stopped offering/making the -132. It’s interesting Taiwan would prefer Vipers vs. the F-15QA/EX models Boeing is making now (Qatar to get their first next year). As a missile truck/AN/APG 82 driven sled against an onslaught of Chinese attackers it seems more suited to a rapid escalation against the island nation. Of course, the Eagles will also have F110-129’s so...maybe there’s a chance down the line for at least one new foreign operator.
 
trex8
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Mon May 04, 2020 12:21 am

texl1649 wrote:
GE as stated has stopped offering/making the -132. It’s interesting Taiwan would prefer Vipers vs. the F-15QA/EX models Boeing is making now (Qatar to get their first next year). As a missile truck/AN/APG 82 driven sled against an onslaught of Chinese attackers it seems more suited to a rapid escalation against the island nation. Of course, the Eagles will also have F110-129’s so...maybe there’s a chance down the line for at least one new foreign operator.


There is no way any US administration is going to upset Beijing by selling F15s (except maybe stored C/Ds!), or F35s for years.

After US and PRC established diplomatic relations in 79, Carter was trying to stop any exports (of anything to anyone -hence the F16/J79 variants planned). The F20/F5G was pretty much designed for Taiwan. They did end up getting all the avionics from the F20 for their IDF.

Bush I sent his entire time as VP in the Reagan admin torpedoing any attempt to sell F16s to Taiwan (despite Ronnie having made a nominating convention statement he would) till GD almost had no orders and was mumbling about closing the FAL and Bush was even likely to lose TX in the election. Dassault had just bagged the M2000 order from Taipei so he was pushed to agree in the fall of 92 to allow F16s, and then only the block 20.

Clinton didnt have to make any earth shattering decisions as the F16s were delivered during his time. The Cobras, Kiowas, Hawkeyes, first US made Patriots (as opposed to the Taiwan made licenced versions) etc came during his time. Though he did piss off Beijing big time by letting the Taiwanese President Lee come to the US, the first time since 1979 an ROC president set foot in the US, to get an award at his alma mater Cornell. Then he really gave Beijing a big finger by sending those carriers to the Taiwan Straits when Beijing was using it as test range for their IRBMs.

Bush II put off any decisions on more F16s. P3s and Apaches were approved. Taipei was formally asking for F16 C/Ds by then and was not getting any response. They were told not even to make a formal request for an offer. Some people think he even put off any upgrades so he could go to the Beijing Olympics.

Obama did the same, refusing any formal requests, though agreed to the Phoenix Rising block 70 upgrade of the block 20s. Squadron IOC is imminent if not already happened.

Trump inherited this mess from all the others and Taipei didn't actually ask specifically for F16s this time, they asked for "new fighters", F16s, F35s (or anything). They got offered the new build block 70s.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Mon May 04, 2020 1:53 am

Can't imagine it would be too hard for China to throw enough financial incentive at a pilot to defect if they were ever given the F-35. Money grows on trees in China.
 
texl1649
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Mon May 04, 2020 1:47 pm

The thing is, there's not that much of a tech difference between an F-15 and F-16 nowadays, as new builds. Commonality for pilots might have driven their preference for the F-16's, I would guess, but I wouldn't be surprised post-Covid if Trump approved either platform to Taiwan (assuming in his second term). Not to get too political, but if he loses none of the above will happen.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Mon May 04, 2020 10:18 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Trump approved either platform to Taiwan (assuming in his second term).


Nah,

If he got re-elected, that means all the China bashing has done it's purpose, and he can get back to being buddy with China again.

Or if he does allow the sale to go thru, I hope it would have been through listening to sound advice from knowlegable advisers that he still have and not the ill thought out ideas from his yes men or some talk show host on FOX.

There is something to say about astute political maneuver vs over the top bluster. One can keeps your opponent at bay by keeping them guessing. The other can lead to a shooting war nobody wants.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Tue May 05, 2020 12:30 am

texl1649 wrote:
The thing is, there's not that much of a tech difference between an F-15 and F-16 nowadays, as new builds. Commonality for pilots might have driven their preference for the F-16's, I would guess, but I wouldn't be surprised post-Covid if Trump approved either platform to Taiwan (assuming in his second term). Not to get too political, but if he loses none of the above will happen.


Taiwan simply doesn’t need F-15s. They are too big a platform and significantly more costly to operate than their F-16 fleet. If we looked ahead ten years Taiwan would be far better placed to invest in a UCAV or loyal wingman of some sort for their Air Force. That investment would allow them to add more weapons to the fighter force in an overall cheaper platform to operate and sustain. They are also more likely to get a reduced RCS out of a UCAV or Loyal Wingman compared to the tennis court and perhaps even one that isn’t limited to long runways. The XQ-58, which I’m not suggesting Taiwan will be given access to, won’t require a runway for take-off or landing and would revolutionize defence of their island in the presence of a determined mainland attack.
 
trex8
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Tue May 05, 2020 11:23 pm

If Taiwan buys any more new planes this decade, it'll be a F35B, not a F15. There was even talk once of them picking up ex Marine Harriers. Those runways will be history in the first 24 hr of a PLA invasion.
 
texl1649
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Tue May 05, 2020 11:27 pm

Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
The thing is, there's not that much of a tech difference between an F-15 and F-16 nowadays, as new builds. Commonality for pilots might have driven their preference for the F-16's, I would guess, but I wouldn't be surprised post-Covid if Trump approved either platform to Taiwan (assuming in his second term). Not to get too political, but if he loses none of the above will happen.


Taiwan simply doesn’t need F-15s. They are too big a platform and significantly more costly to operate than their F-16 fleet. If we looked ahead ten years Taiwan would be far better placed to invest in a UCAV or loyal wingman of some sort for their Air Force. That investment would allow them to add more weapons to the fighter force in an overall cheaper platform to operate and sustain. They are also more likely to get a reduced RCS out of a UCAV or Loyal Wingman compared to the tennis court and perhaps even one that isn’t limited to long runways. The XQ-58, which I’m not suggesting Taiwan will be given access to, won’t require a runway for take-off or landing and would revolutionize defence of their island in the presence of a determined mainland attack.


Maybe. But Taiwan has money. The issue with their F-16 fleet today is that they are basically an ancient block, it’s impossible for them to incorporate many advanced concepts like loyal wingman stuff. I’m surprised Taiwan isn’t actively developing advanced ucav capabilities today, but perhaps it is just a secret project.
 
Ozair
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Tue May 05, 2020 11:53 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
The thing is, there's not that much of a tech difference between an F-15 and F-16 nowadays, as new builds. Commonality for pilots might have driven their preference for the F-16's, I would guess, but I wouldn't be surprised post-Covid if Trump approved either platform to Taiwan (assuming in his second term). Not to get too political, but if he loses none of the above will happen.


Taiwan simply doesn’t need F-15s. They are too big a platform and significantly more costly to operate than their F-16 fleet. If we looked ahead ten years Taiwan would be far better placed to invest in a UCAV or loyal wingman of some sort for their Air Force. That investment would allow them to add more weapons to the fighter force in an overall cheaper platform to operate and sustain. They are also more likely to get a reduced RCS out of a UCAV or Loyal Wingman compared to the tennis court and perhaps even one that isn’t limited to long runways. The XQ-58, which I’m not suggesting Taiwan will be given access to, won’t require a runway for take-off or landing and would revolutionize defence of their island in the presence of a determined mainland attack.


The issue with their F-16 fleet today is that they are basically an ancient block, it’s impossible for them to incorporate many advanced concepts like loyal wingman stuff. I’m surprised Taiwan isn’t actively developing advanced ucav capabilities today, but perhaps it is just a secret project.

Taiwan's F-16 fleet are all being upgraded to the Blk 70 standard.

The $5.3 billion Phoenix Rising program will see Taiwan’s F-16A/B Block 20 aircraft upgraded to the F-16V standard. The upgrade sees the installation of the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 scalable agile beam radar, an active electronically scanned radar, to replace the older mechanically scanned set; new mission computers; improvements to the aircraft’s electronic warfare suite and avionics; and the integration of new precision-guided weapons.

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia ... coastline/

Will that V upgrade allow a Taiwanese pilot to control a loyal wingman? Probably not at this stage but it isn't an insurmountable goal given multiple other F-16 users around the world, including the US, likely see value in that capability. Alternatively, they can run the loyal wingmen/UCAVs from land bases using LOS datalinks. Either option looks more survivable and sustainable than a massive investment in an F-15 fleet.

texl1649 wrote:
Maybe. But Taiwan has money.

They already spend above 2% of GDP in their defence budget which is only US$13 billion to operate a 160k plus sized military. There isn't a lot of funding around for a massive acquisition of an F-15 like capability. The 66 new F-16V are going to be less than US$8 billion (DSCA value) to acquire. Compared to that Qatar's F-15QA acquisition of 72 aircraft is going to be at least twice that number (DSCA value was US$21 billion but actual contract signing will be less than that).
 
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bikerthai
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Wed May 06, 2020 9:05 am

texl1649 wrote:
I’m surprised Taiwan isn’t actively developing advanced ucav capabilities today, but perhaps it is just a secret project.


Developing a fighter program is difficult enough. Developing an autonomous fighter is doubly so. Even the Japanese is having a difficult time developing their own fighter.

For a project like the loyal wingman, you need at least 3 prerequisites, large sums of money (from a wealthy nation state), manufacturing infrastructure from a multinational airospace corporation, the technical knowhow aquired through years of developement.

Taiwan lacks at least two of the three criteria above.
Specifically, no multinational aerospace corporation will work with Taiwan for fear of pissing of China.

Which bring me to the premise that the F-15 or F-18 and even the loyal wingman may not be offered to Taiwan because Boeing has too much commercial interest in China. I would say the STOVL version of the F-35 may have the best chance as Lockheed is less influenced by China politics and the shorter range makes it less likely a threat to the mainland.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: US to potentially sell F-16's to Taiwan

Wed May 06, 2020 2:18 pm

The Taiwanese do have a very capable domestic aerospace industry already in place; Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), which produces the F-CK-1 Ching-kuo fighter, and now, the T-5 Brave Eagle advanced supersonic trainer.

AIDC also has partnerships with a number of foreign aircraft manufacturers, producing components for Boeing's 737, Airbus A320, Mitsubishi MRJ, Bombardier Challenger series, and Sikorsky. They are also a partner with Lockheed Martin for the F-16V upgrade program, having assisted with the development and integration of the upgrade package.

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