Photo: wikipedia commons
Reports of the weapons upgrade package sold to Taiwan have been focused on modifications to F-16 electronics and avionics — items enabling the nation to defend itself against China’s J-20 stealth fighter.The Washington Times reports, however, that key upgrades will focus on the F-16A airframes and engines – enabling the the ageing fighter to carry the 140 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and 96 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) included in the $5.85 billion sale.
The JDAMs are computer guided smart-bombs, weighing from 500 to 2,000 pounds, used against significant ground targets such as airfields, radar stations, and missile arrays.
The Air Force reports that the F-16A has a range of 500 miles, more than enough to cross the 100-mile Taiwan strait.
The service did not announce whether the planned engine modifications would allow the fighter to make that trip carrying a 500-pound JDAM.
New JDAMs released this year modified by Boeing are accurate up to 80 kilometers from where they are released.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.