The air force is preparing to build a new fighter that has vertical/short taking off and landing (VSTOL) capabilities.
"Because of the strong likelihood that landing strips at air bases will come under intensive missile attack and be destroyed during a war with China, the air force considers fighters with VSTOL capabilities to be most suitable for Taiwan's defense," air force Commander Liu Kui-li (劉貴立) told the Chinese-language China Times daily yesterday.
"The air force is open to any kind of VSTOL fighters, and is not necessarily aiming for the US' Joint Strike Fighters [JSF] that are in development," he said.
Liu said the air force hopes to create the new fighter force by 2020. He said the upgrading of the fleet was necessary to counter Chinese military spending.
Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) last week told a press conference that the US refused to offer Taiwan its newest JSFs, which will come into service in the next few years. The Ministry of National Defense has calculated that Taiwan would find it difficult to procure the US model before 2020.
Lee said the ministry asked the US to sell Taiwan a number of decommissioned US F-15 Eagle fighters in last year's defense meeting between the two sides, but the US did not agree to the sale.
"Because of the gradual decommissioning of the aging US F-5Es and Taiwanese IDFs [Indigenous Defense Fighters] over the coming years, the air force is expected to be short by more than 40 fighters in 2015," Lee said.
Lee said the ministry hoped to procure more than 40 decommissioned F-15s to fill the vacuum in air defense before the next-generation fighter force is built.
However, Liu told the daily that the air force had evaluated the decommissioned F-15 fighters and decided they were too old to meet its requirements. He said the air force would continue to ask the US to help Taiwan enhance its F-16 Falcon force's capabilities, although the US has not agreed to do so to date.
Taiwan has 146 F-16s, 56 Mirage-2000s and 128 IDFs in its current fleet as well as more than 60 F-5Es. Liu said the F-16 and Mirage-2000 fighters would remain in service for another 15 to 20 years.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000