Mon, Dec 10, 2012 - Page 3 News List

F-16 pilots came close to joining US exercise

RED FLAG:While fears of Beijing’s reaction scuttled the plan, insiders believe that Taiwanese pilots will be able to eventually participate in the large-scale military exercise

By J. Michael Cole  /  Staff reporter

In related news, the US Department of Defense announced on Friday that US-based defense contractor Raytheon Corp on Friday had been awarded a US$289,458,942 contract for Taiwan’s Surveillance Radar Program (SRP), in a contract that is expected to be completed by Nov. 8, 2017.

Key to Taiwan’s SRP is the US$1 billion-plus long-range early-warning radar that is being built at Leshan (樂山) in Hsinchu County and which is expected to become operational before the end of this year.

The program drew criticism by some legislators earlier this year after Raytheon requested an additional NT$4 billion (US$137.6 million) for further research-and-development and other associated costs.

Once it becomes operational, the radar — deemed the most powerful on the face of the planet — will give Taiwan an extra 6-minute warning against incoming Chinese missiles.

Additional reporting by Stacy Hsu

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