Aug 16, 2019 Government & Politics Comments Off on Taiwan’s Air Force says it plans to add new wing of F16V
Taipei, Taiwan's Air Force said it is planning to establish a new fighter wing when new fighter jets are acquired after the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is moving ahead with its US$8 billion sale of F16V fighter jets to Taiwan.
Taiwan's Ministry of Defense (MND) made a request to the U.S. in late February to purchase 66 F16Vs. Progress seemed to be stalled earlier this year as the Trump administration did not inform Congress of the proposed arms sale before Congress went into recess July 26.
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration notified Congress late Thursday it would submit the US$8 billion sale of F16 fighter jets to Taiwan for informal review despite strong objections from China, quoting people familiar with the sale.
Taiwan's MND did not directly respond to the story, saying only that the package is under review in accordance with its process and the MND is waiting for formal notification from the U.S. side.
Taiwan's Air Force said on its Facebook page on Friday, however, that it is planning a new F16V fighter wing since it is the most battleready type of fighter for Taiwan considering personnel can be quickly retrained and logistics will be very efficient as Taiwan already has 144 F16 A/Bs in service.
The main fighters in Taiwan's fleet the FCK1, Mirage 2000 and F16A/B have all reached their middle age, and Taiwan needs to obtain new fighter jets to cope with hostile threats and future operational needs, the Air Force said.
That is especially true with China stepping up its systematic military training in the form of encirclement of Taiwan by its ships and planes.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement Friday that Taiwan's government is cautiously optimistic over the planned purchase, citing four previous arms sales by Washington to Taipei, which it described as signs of the U.S.'s firm support of Taiwan's security.
The MOFA emphasized the importance of strengthening the country's air defense capability, citing China's increasing provocations.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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