Taiwan wants US to complete delivery of F-16V jets in 2026

66 jets to be stationed in Taitung County

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An F-16 fighter jet.

An F-16 fighter jet. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of National Defense wants the delivery of 66 F-16V “Viper” fighter jets to be completed in 2026, one year earlier than originally planned, reports said Wednesday (August 21).

The United States Department of State approved the US$8 billion (NT$250 billion) deal, while Taiwan’s military was already listing NT$5 billion of that price in its 2020 budget, according to the Central News Agency.

In a news release Wednesday, the Ministry of National Defense thanked the U.S. government for approving the deal, which it described as a defensive package it had long sought in order to bolster Taiwan’s air defense capabilities.

The jets will be stationed at the Zhihang Air Force Base in Taitung County, while the 142 F-16s Taiwan already has are stationed in Chiayi and Hualien.

While manufacturer Lockheed Martin had planned for the jets to be completed for delivery in 2027, when Taiwan sits down to negotiate with the U.S. about the details of the package, it will ask for the transfer of the aircraft to be rounded off in 2026, according to CNA.