Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MND denies Taiwan is only seeking 24 new F-16s

A Taiwan Air Force F-16 takes off in Hualien
In a new twist in Taiwan’s F-16 saga, reports claim that Taipei could seek to acquire far fewer than the 66 aircraft it has long requested from the US 

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied that senior officials had indicated during bilateral security talks in the US earlier this month that Taiwan could substantially lower the number of F-16C/D aircraft it seeks to procure from the US. 

Citing unnamed military sources, the Chinese-language China Times and Liberty Times reported that Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) and National Security Council (NSC) Deputy Secretary-General Lu Hsiao-jung (陸小榮) had proposed during the annual US-Taiwan strategic dialogue meetings that Taiwan only acquire a squadron of 24 F-16C/Ds — far fewer than the 66 aircraft Taiwan has been seeking to procure since 2006. 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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