Taiwan is expected to spend NT$250 billion (US$7.96 billion) to buy 66 F-16V jets, which will put the cost of a single aircraft at a relatively cheap price of about US$121.7 million, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said, using a conversion rate of NT$30.94 to US$1.
The US Department of State on Aug. 20 approved the sale, but the deal has to clear the US Congress before the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency officially makes it public.
The process will be completed once the US and Taiwan sign a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA).
A military source yesterday said that the Ministry of National Defense has finished drafting a budget for the sale, which will be sent to the Executive Yuan and then the Legislative Yuan for review.
If everything goes smoothly, Taiwan is expected to sign the LOA before the end of this year, send it back to Washington to finalize the deal, and take delivery of all 66 jets by 2026, the source said.
The air force has sent representatives to lobby lawmakers to approve the deal in the legislative session that begins this month, the source added, while the DPP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) have said they would most likely approve the budget.
Citing data provided by the air force, Wang said the price that Taiwan is proposing to pay is less than the average price paid by Bahrain, Slovakia, Morocco and Bulgaria, about US$149 million per F-16V.
DPP Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) said the sale is a bargain because it is the cheapest F-16Vs the US has sold since 2009.
The ministry also intends to spend NT$778 million over the next five years to build the latest locally developed eight-wheeled armored vehicles, which would be equipped with 105mm guns.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each