Monday, August 19, 2019

Taiwan's F-16 Block 70 Vipers sale gets informal approval from US government

Lockheed Martin F-16.

The US government is expected to green-light the sale of up to 66 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 Viper fighter aircraft worth around US$8 billion to the Republic of China (Taiwan). This is after positive response from US Pres. Donald Trump’s administration on the proposed sale.

Key members of both chambers of the US Congress are also expected to fully support the deal as a show of strong ties with Taiwan.

Should it push through, the acquisition of the F-16’s latest variant would provide a huge boost the island country’s ageing fighter assets, as it prepares to retire some of its older Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II light combat aircraft from service.

The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) is already an F-16 user since the early 1990s, with older F-16A/B Block 20 Fighting Falcons also in the process of being upgraded to near Block 70 Viper standards.

Despite the One China Policy officially adapted by the US government, it also has commitments to Taiwan’s security via the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act which allows them to provide defense articles and services to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.

As expected, China (People’s Republic of China) has shown strong disagreement on the impending sale, calling on the US to respect the One China Policy, and even calling the 

[1] Bloomberg
[2] Defense News
[3] The Diplomat

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