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Only F-16 jets strong enough to repel China: Reports

Taiwan is trying to obtain upgraded F-16 C/D jets from the U.S.

Only F-16 jets strong enough to repel China: Reports

Only the United States-made F-16 fighter jets were strong enough to help Taiwan repel an attack from China's more sophisticated aircraft, reports said yesterday.
The Chinese-language Liberty Times daily said internal Ministry of National Defense reports showed the air force's Indigenous Defense Fighters and French-made Mirage 2000 jets were not up to the standards of China's most recent aircraft.
Taiwan has been trying to obtain upgraded F-16 C/D jets from the U.S., but the Obama Administration has so far failed to agree on the deal.
One Russian-supplied Sukhoi-30 from China's air force was the equivalent of 2.8 Mirages or 1.7 IDFs, the MND report said, according to the Liberty Times.
The F-16 would draw level with the Su-30, making the U.S. jet the strongest aircraft in Taiwan's arsenal, the paper said.
The performance of the air-to-air missiles used by the fighter jets reportedly played an important part in determining the rating of the planes in the survey. Taiwan's F-16s use the AIM-120, the IDF are equipped with the locally made Sky Sword- 2, while the Mirages come with the Mica.
The French missiles only had a range of 60km, compared to at least 100km for all the other missiles used by either Taiwan or China, according to the Liberty Times. The paper quoted an unnamed pilot who said the distance did not matter too much because it was only possible to recognize whether another aircraft was friend or enemy from 50km or less.
The pilot said the Mirage was excellent in escaping enemy-fired missiles, and that the military report might have been written to pave the way for the purchase of the new F-16s. The MND nevertheless felt the report was a simplification of real situations that might occur because it failed to take several factors into account, including the quality of the pilots, the battle environment and interference from anti-air missiles, the paper said.
The ministry also denied a Liberty Times report that the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou had abandoned a project to assemble 66 F-16s in Taiwan, thus losing a NT$25 billion deal.
The Ma government would import the completed planes directly from the U.S. instead of having them assembled by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, as the administration of former President Chen Shui-bian had planned, the Liberty Times said.
The ministry said it would stand by its rule that for each international defense deal reaching US$5 million, industrial cooperation would amount to at least 40 percent of the final value of the agreement.


Updated : 2021-09-20 03:54 GMT+08:00