The arrival of the primary batch of latest US plane was pushed to 2024, the highest protection official mentioned
Supply of 66 F-16V fighter jets from the US to Taiwan has been delayed as a result of pandemic-related manufacturing and supply-chain issues, the island’s protection minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, mentioned on Thursday. The primary batch of jets was speculated to be delivered within the fourth quarter of this 12 months, however has been pushed to the third quarter of 2024.
Chiu mentioned authorities requested the US to “make up the deficiency,” and had been working with the de facto US embassy in Taipei and utilizing different diplomatic channels. “We’re minimizing the harm,” the minister mentioned, including that the complete order was nonetheless anticipated to be delivered earlier than 2026.
The Focus Taiwan information outlet quoted Chiu as saying that the $8 billion contract signed in 2019 didn’t embody monetary penalties for late supply and that the US promised to offer spare components forward of schedule. The brand new shipments would convey Taiwan’s F-16 fleet to greater than 200 plane, making it the most important in Asia, in line with Reuters.
Taipei is working to improve its plane in response to the heightened tensions with mainland China, with Beijing and Washington accusing one another of harmful escalation within the Taiwan Strait and the bigger Asia-Pacific. The Taiwanese Protection Ministry mentioned on Thursday that 16 Individuals’s Liberation Military jets and 9 warships had been detected near the island’s coasts.
Beijing held large-scale army drills round Taiwan final month following the go to of the island’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, to the US. Beijing considers the island, which has been dominated by a separate authorities for the reason that late Nineteen Forties, its territory and strongly opposes international contacts with the Taipei authorities.
The US formally upholds the One-China coverage by refraining from formally recognizing Taiwan as an impartial state however has bought weapons to the island and promised to defend it from a possible assault from the mainland.
Final 12 months, Taiwan complained that deliveries of M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers had been delayed because of the pandemic. Taipei additionally raised considerations that shipments of Stinger air-defense missile methods may very well be held up due to the Russia-Ukraine battle.
In April, a gaggle of US legislators that visited Taiwan urged the White Home to hurry up supply of $21 billion price of backlogged weapon gross sales promised to Taipei.
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