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HomeUSTaiwan's F-16 Jets To Receive US-Made AGM-154 Bombs

Taiwan’s F-16 Jets To Receive US-Made AGM-154 Bombs

Taiwan inched closer to receiving more advanced ground-attack capabilities for its fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets after the Pentagon awarded a manufacturing contract this month.
The United States approved the foreign military sale of AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) glide bombs six years ago. The contract to produce 50 of the munitions was officially given to Arizona-based Raytheon Missile Systems, a subsidiary of RTX Corp., on February 2, according to the U.S. Defense Department.
Taiwan, which has 139 F-16 fighters, will soon become the largest operator of the airframe in Asia following the pending delivery of 66 more jets by Lockheed Martin—part of an $8 million deal struck in 2019. The island’s existing fleet completed hardware upgrades to the F-16V—for Viper—variant in December, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center said on Monday.
All of Taipei’s hard power is directed at deterring neighboring China, which claims Taiwan as part of Chinese territory and has vowed to seize it by force if necessary. The Taiwanese air force in particular is regularly called upon to patrols surrounding airspace and head off Beijing’s coercive activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.
The latest U.S. military contract is worth $68.42 million, the Pentagon said in an announcement on its website. Both Raytheon Missile Systems and Lockheed Martin have been sanctioned by China for their part in manufacturing Taiwan-bound weapons systems.
U.S.-made F-16V fighter aircraft taxi on the runway at an air force base in Chiayi in southern Taiwan on January 5, 2022. The U.S. Defense Department on February 2, 2024, awarded a contract to manufacture… U.S.-made F-16V fighter aircraft taxi on the runway at an air force base in Chiayi in southern Taiwan on January 5, 2022. The U.S. Defense Department on February 2, 2024, awarded a contract to manufacture 50 AGM-154 glide bombs for Taiwan to Raytheon Missiles and Defense. More AFP via Getty
The JSOW, which weighs 1,000 pounds, is expected to enhance Taiwan’s ability to conduct standoff strikes from extended ranges once the weapon is integrated into its F-16 fleet. The glide bomb, whose aviaonics includes a pair of wings for added lift, can dispense a variety of lethal payloads at a target marked by the pilot.
Most importantly for Taiwan’s vulnerable and greatly outnumbered fleet of fighter aircraft, the weapon’s range of 13-80 miles—extended during high-altitude releases—will allow for engagements outside the reach of enemy defenses. It is a

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