US to upgrade Taiwan F-16s, not sell new ones
Washington: The Obama administration has
decided to upgrade Taiwan`s existing fleet of F-16 fighter
jets but not sell it the new planes it also wants,
congressional staff said.
The administration gave a briefing on Capitol Hill on its
decision on Friday, but has yet to issue a formal notification
of the intended deal. An announcement is expected by the end
of this month.
Two congressional aides confirmed the decision on condition of anonymity as they were not
authorised to make it public.
The decision represents a compromise aimed at improving
Taiwan`s ability to defend itself, while assuaging China`s
concern over the arms sales. However, Beijing is still
expected to react angrily. It regards the self-governing
island as part of its territory.
There will also be criticism from Republicans and some
Democrats in Congress who have strongly backed the sales of 66
F-16 C/D fighters that Taiwan wants, in addition to the
upgrades of the 145 F-16 A/Bs that the US sold it in the
There were no immediate details on the package of
upgrades the US is providing for the A/Bs. But even if it
includes sophisticated radar, avionics and missile systems,
Taiwan`s air force will still lag far behind its Chinese
counterpart, which is equipped with state-of-the-art jet
A Pentagon report issued last year painted a grim picture
of Taiwan`s air defence capabilities, saying many of the
island`s 400 combat aircraft would not be available to help
withstand an attack from the mainland.
Wang Kao-cheng, a military expert at Taipei`s Tamkang
University, said Taiwan`s air defences could get some lift
from the upgrade, but the island is still at a profound
disadvantage with Beijing in the number of third-generation
warplanes it has at its disposal.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- PM Modi addresses the nation during Maan Ki baat
- Delhi police arrests BSF personnel, ISI operative for espionage
- Kerala's Sunni religious leader calls gender equality ‘un-Islamic’
- Maharashtra: Shani Shignapur temple purifies after woman offers oil
- Panel discussion on P Chidambaram's remarks over ban on 'The Satanic Verses'
- Video: India won't tolerate disrespect to national anthem – this Mumbai family learnt it the hard way
- Had Sardar Patel become PM, India would have been another Pakistan, says Kancha Ilaiah
- Reptile fossil explains how snakes lost their legs
- Watch: Boy dies after falling from a Mumbai local train – video maker is guilty too!
- Shocking! World Cup winning cricketer forced to sell 'kachoris' to make a living