US approves military sale to Taiwan worth of US$330 million

The US said the proposed sale is to maintain Taiwan’s 'defensive and transport aerial fleet' without altering the military balance in the region

The F-16 fighter jet (Source: CNA/File photo)

The F-16 fighter jet (Source: CNA/File photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Department of State has approved a possible military sale to Taiwan worth US$330 million, with items including spare parts for F-16 fighter jets and other military aircraft, announced the U.S. Department of Defense Monday (all times local).

The proposed sale includes spare parts for “the F-16, C-130, F-5, Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), all other aircraft systems and subsystems, and other related elements of logistics and program support,” according to a statement released by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). The sale is estimated to be valued at US$330 million (NT$10.2 billion).

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security and defensive capability of the recipient, which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region,” said the DSCA.

The agency emphasized that the proposed sale is to maintain Taiwan’s “defensive and transport aerial fleet” without altering the military balance in the region.

In response to the announcement, Alex Huang (黃重諺), spokesperson for the Presidential Office, said on Tuesday that the deal will provide Taiwanese people with more confidence in the face of grave security challenges, and make the country more capable of ensuring peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the region.

“We will continue to increase investment in national defense, reinforce the national defense industry and technology. We will also maintain close dialogue and cooperation with the United States in various issues, including national security,” added Huang.

Taiwan's 143-strong F-16 fleet is currently undergoing a major modernization program to upgrade the fleet's defense capabilities named “Phoenix Rising Project.” The overhaul includes updated radar, computer components, and modified landing gear.