|The long-range EWR on Leshan, Hsinchu County|
Defense industry sources yesterday denied a report filed last week that Taiwan had decided to drop a plan to purchase a second early-warning radar (EWR) from the US, saying the decision had been made several years ago.
Citing “military authorities,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of National Defense had abandoned plans to add a second EWR to its inventory.
The story begins more than a decade ago, when Taiwan launched efforts to improve its surveillance capabilities under what came to be known as the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP). After four years of intense debate, in November 2003, a still-divided legislature agreed to set aside US$800 million for the acquisition of one EWR from the US. In March the following year, Washington responded with a US$1.77 billion notification to Congress, which provided an option for two ultra-high-frequency long-range EWRs.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.