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President Tsai Ing-Wen Reviews AIDC’s F-16 Upgrade Program

President Tsai Ing-Wen visited AIDC in the afternoon of August 30th 2019, and reviewed AIDC’s work on the F-16 performance upgrade program. The success of the upgrade program will not only enhance ROCAF’s air defense capabilities but will also strengthen Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities.
President Tsai, accompanied by AIDC Chairman Hu Kai-Hung, received a briefing on the F-16 performance upgrade program. The event was also attended by the National Security Council Secretary-General Lee Ta-Wei, Ministry of National Defense Vice Minister Chang Zhe-Ping, Ministry of Economic Affairs Vice Minister Lin Chuan-Neng and AIDC President Ma Wan-June.

During the visit, President Tsai exchanged views with resident personnel from Lockheed Martin who acknowledged AIDC’s F-16 performance upgrade team as one of the best in the world.

The F-16 performance upgrade program is more than just upgrading the fighter jet’s performance. While challenges will continue, the program will provide AIDC with future maintenance opportunities.
Since taking office in 2016, President Tsai has been steadfast in promoting a self-reliant defense for Taiwan. To respond to the development of self-defense systems, AIDC has recruited over 1,300 employees, which not only provides a solid foundation for the future development of Taiwan’s aerospace but also brings considerable job opportunities to local communities.

AIDC was a pioneer in self-developed fighter jets among countries in the Asia Pacific region. However, after the production of the IDF F-CK-1, its research and development capabilities gradually diminished due to the lack of focus on self-reliant national defense.

Determined to bolster the self-sufficiency of Taiwan's national defense, the President urged the acceleration of the F-16 performance upgrade program and the improvement of AIDC’s fighter jet maintenance capabilities to establish the foundation and preparations for the development of the next generation fighter jet. Domestically developed trainer is a vital part of the government’s policies and should be followed through and successfully completed.

Lastly, the President praised the results achieved by AIDC Chairman Hu and President Ma in leading the company and emphasized that AIDC employees are all heroes for their dedication to improving Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities. The President finally thanked everyone for their efforts and wished success for the program.