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Six Taiwanese F-16s return home

May 13, 2021 (by Bjorn Claes) - After a stay of over 20 years in the United States for training purposes Taiwanese jets are returning home to be upgraded to the F-16V configuration.

RoCAF F-16A block 20 #93-0707 from the 21st FS seen landing at Luke AFB on March 24th, 2008. [Photo by Jason Hyatt]

Since the very start of the F-16 deliveries to the RoCAF (Republic of China Air Force/Taiwan) a large number of airframes remained in the United States for training purposes. These started back in 1996 with the 21st Fighter Squadron (Gamblers) stationed at Luke AFB. With the Taiwanes F-16V program taking up some pace now, already upgraded jets are being flown in to replace the ones still in need of the upgrade.

Last Thursday six jets (#6604, #6605, #6606, #6607, #6608 and #6621) were flown back from Luke AFB to Hualien AB. This means still seven jets currently remain with the 21st FS (#6602, #6603, #6610, #6620, #6716, #6804 and #6807). These jets will also be traded in for 'new' jets in the near future. The squadron will also move from Luke AFB to Tucson IAP in the near future. Luke AFB is to become an F-35 only base and therefore all other activities need to be relocated to other places. Although this move was already envisioned back in December of 2016, it is foreseen to actually happen in the course of 2021.

Combined with the 'upgrade' of the current jets Taiwan has also ordered 66 new F-16V's. A delivery schedule for these is still unknown.

Additional images:

RoCAF F-16A block 20 #93-0709 from the 21st FS is passing through NAS Fort Worth for gas on its way to a missile exercise at Tyndall AFB on October 25th, 2013. [Photo by Keith Snyder]

RoCAF F-16A block 20 #93-0708 of the 21st FS is landing after a training sortie from Luke AFB ob September 26th, 2013. [Photo by Arie Church]

RoCAF F-16A block 20 #93-0705 from the 21st FS is seen coming into land at Luke AFB on March 28th, 2007. [Photo by Richard Pittman]
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