The air force will procure the full US$5.2 billion upgrade package for its fleet of F-16A/B fighter jets notified to the US Congress in September last year, but will do so in two phases, the Taipei Times has learned.
This latest twist in the F-16 saga comes after reports in February said that the Executive Yuan had decided it would give the air force only US$3.7 billion to upgrade its 145 F-16A/Bs, forcing the military to trim some of the articles included in the US$5.2 billion package, which includes Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars, electronic warfare suites, air-to-air missiles and, more controversially, a variety of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) kits.
Air Force Command Headquarters announced early last month that it had received an official answer from the US, which reportedly contained articles that reflected the US$3.7 billion allocated by the Executive Yuan.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Taiwan is currently evaluating the contents of the letter and is expected to sign the letter of agreement within 45 to 60 days.
However, a defense industry source told the Taipei Times yesterday that Taiwan would still procure the entire US$5.2 billion upgrade, but would do so in two phases, with the second phase — worth about US$1.5 billion — taking place in two years.
Because the full package has already been notified, no second notification will be necessary for Taiwan to submit a letter of agreement for the second phase, the source said.
The electronic warfare suite is being specifically designed for Taiwan and will not be ready until 2016 or early 2017, the source said, adding that the development cost for the system is part of the retrofit package. The same suite would be installed on the F-16C/Ds that Taiwan has been seeking since 2006.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
ASEAN BATTLEGROUND: Japan and Australia could be drawn into Pacific tensions as China sets its sights on the Diaoyutai Islands and further beyond the first island chain Tensions between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to intensify, the National Security Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, recommending that Taiwan continue to emphasize its shared values and interests to encourage resistance to Chinese aggression. US commitments in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to continue unabated despite the war in Ukraine, as Beijing takes advantage of the conflict to expand its influence in the region, the agencies said in reports delivered to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Sunday, ahead of a hearing yesterday on regional developments and trends. Although Russia’s invasion of
ONLINE REPORT: Confirmed cases filling out the online contact tracing report can check a box to indicate that a close contact had received a booster dose, an official said The guidelines for diagnosing COVID-19 have been revised to include people aged 65 or older who test positive with a rapid test that is confirmed by a healthcare worker, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 65,794 new local infections. The CECC had first announced the change on Monday, before publishing the new guidelines. Starting today, people aged 65 or older, regardless of whether they are undergoing home quarantine, home isolation or self-disease prevention, can be classified as a confirmed COVID-19 case by a healthcare professional, based on a positive result from an antigen rapid test, said