TAIPEI (The China Post) – Taiwan Air Force was poised to purchase 66 F-16 Viper fighter jets from the U.S. government in order to upgrade its old Dassault Mirage 2000, according to various sources.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force said on Jan. 4 that it hadn’t received any quotation yet, amid reports that the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, asked a hefty NT$390 billion for the purchase, thus forcing the military to look for other options.
Chinese-language media reported that Lockheed Martin asked for NT$390 billion for the sale, almost twice the original budget of NT$200 billion.
If the company is not willing to lower its price, sources said that the deal might just be cancelled. In this eventuality, the Air Force might opt for old F-15 or F-18, or just seek another supplier.
The Air Force Command Headquarters said that the purchase of military weapons and equipment involves several aspects, including the state of the enemy and future combat demands. “As long as the aircraft type fits our need of defense, it will be taken into our operational considerations,” the air force said.
The Air Force Command Headquarters also pointed out that the purchase of major weapons and equipment is conducted from government to government. As for the latest purchase, there isn’t an official quotation yet, so the military urged the media not to over speculate on this issue and cause confusion and misunderstandings.
Translated by Nora Chang