PE Ledger

Amid China’s threat, the US assists Taiwan in commissioning advanced F-16 fighter jets

Frequent war games between China and the United States in the region have sparked worries of conflict sparked by a dispute over Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory.

Chiayi: 

On Thursday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen praised US military cooperation as she commissioned the first combat wing of F-16 aircraft modified with US assistance to strengthen the island’s defences amid escalating tensions between Taipei and Beijing.

Frequent military drills between China and the United States in the region have sparked worries of conflict sparked by a dispute over Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory.

Tsai said the initiative demonstrated the Taiwan-US partnership’s firm commitment at a ceremony in the southern Taiwanese city of Chiayi to present the first squadron of its most upgraded F-16s, the F-16V.

“I believe that we adhere to the values of democracy and freedom. Therefore, more like-minded countries will stand behind us,” she added, appearing on the same stage as Sandra Oudkirk, the top US diplomat in Taiwan.

To Beijing’s displeasure, the United States has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is the island’s principal international backer and weaponry supplier.

Lockheed Martin Corp and Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) are leading the T$110 billion ($3.96 billion) F-16 modernization, which is the latest example of military cooperation between Washington and Taipei.

Taiwan is upgrading 141 F-16A/B jets into F-16Vs, 64 of which have already been updated. It has also purchased 66 new F-16Vs with upgraded avionics, missiles, and radar systems to better face China’s air force, notably its J-20 stealth fighter.

The F-16Vs can carry Raytheon Technologies Corp’s upgraded AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

The F-16s showcased their metal against a backdrop of dance music broadcast across the airbase, doing combat takeoffs and landings and flying low information above the runway.

Taiwan’s defences will become “much stronger” when more F-16Vs enter service, according to Tsai.

Taiwan’s air force is well-equipped, but it pales in comparison to China’s.

In 2019, the United States approved an $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, bringing the island’s F-16 fleet to more than 200 planes, making it the largest in Asia.

Get  Prince Edward Island and Canada’s  top News, Latest News and other News of the world only at the most trustable news website of Canada peledger.com

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *