TAIPEI --- The local upgrade program for Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jet fleet is going slower than expected, according to industry insiders.
A representative from the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) said a lack of manpower is hindering progress, according to ET today. The company chairman and director reportedly resigned over the matter.
Taiwan began efforts to modernize its F-16 fleet last year under the project name “Phoenix Rising.” The Air Force received its first modernized model in October.
The remaining 141 F-16 units were originally set to be upgraded at a rate of 24 per year. Following news of delays, the prospective completion rate is now uncertain.
A report received by Up Media suggested while contractor Lockheed Martin said a lack of technically-skilled manpower has caused the delay, the resignation of leading figures at AIDC was the primary reason for the schedule change.
AIDC said in response that Phoenix Rising is a company secret, and added that it could neither confirm nor deny the information in the report.