26 October 2018
Upgrading Taiwan’s fighter jets to F-16Vs will boost the self-ruled island’s defences, but in terms of combat capability the revamped aircraft will still lag behind Beijing’s, military analysts said.
The upgrade is expected to move ahead after the US Congress approved a new round of arms sales to Taiwan as it comes under increasing pressure from mainland China.
The US$330 million deal was approved after a 30-day review process that expired at midnight on Wednesday. It is the second US arms sale to Taiwan in less than 18 months under US President Donald Trump and signifies a deepening of defence ties between Washington and Taipei.
Under the deal, the United States will provide spare parts for Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jets, C-130 cargo planes, its Indigenous Defence Fighters, and all other aircraft systems and subsystems.
… Collin Koh, a research fellow with the Maritime Security Programme at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said the upgraded F-16V would still have limited long-range abilities, but was comparable to mainland China’s J-10 fighter jets.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 29/10/2018