Thursday, May 13, 2010

Taiwan wants US F-16 C/D fighter jets: TAIWAN'S vice defence minister


TAIWAN'S vice defence minister said on Thursday that the island will keep trying to acquire fighter jets from the United States despite warming ties with former rival China.'The ministry's policy (to acquire the jets) is very clear and we will continue promoting it,' Andrew Yang told parliament when asked to comment on a US report urging Taiwan to strengthen its air defences.'Effective air defence is a crucial component if Taiwan is to mount a viable defence of the island,' said the report, released this week by the non-profit US-Taiwan Business Council in Washington.

The council said the F-16 C/D jets best suited Taiwan's defence needs but warned that the window for purchasing new jets 'is almost shut' as the last F-16s under contract are set to be delivered by the end of 2013. 'It is imperative to deal quickly with the growing... fighter imbalance, so that deliveries to Taiwan may begin by 2014. That is when the fighter shortfall is expected to fully materialise,' the council said........................................Full Story

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