TAIPEI (The China Post) – The Air Force has confirmed its request for fighter aircraft from the United States, even though it is unclear whether the purchasing budget for the 66 F-16Vs is NT$390 billion or NT$250 billion, according to local media reports.
In response to media inquiries, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) clarified said on March 12 that the procurement request was just submitted for application, and it is better for the public not to spread misleading information.
According to the spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense (MND), Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉), some people have spread false information regarding the procurement on Facebook and Line that the government spent NT$390 billion on the already outdated F-16Vs and yet the 138 F-35 jets that the U.K. purchased cost only NT$361.9 billion.
Chen said that based on the information released by the Defence Select Committee of the British House of Commons, the purchase amount was 48 aircraft, which was far from the alleged number.
Chen also stressed that as long as the jets meet the operational needs for national defense, they will remain as procuring options no matter if it’s the F-15, F-18, F-16 or F-35. For now, the MND hasn’t decided which types of fighter jet to purchase. Pending on the reply from the U.S. government, the ministry will engage in further negotiations.