Taiwan signs deal with US for 66 F-16 jets while tensions with China ride high

WolfPack86

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Washington: Taiwan formally signed an agreement to buy 66 of the latest model F-16 jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp., a move likely to further inflame tensions between the U.S. and China.


Taiwan’s purchase of the F-16s marks the first sale of advanced fighter jets to the island since President George H.W. Bush announced approval for 150 F-16s in 1992. A $62 billion figure announced by the Pentagon on Friday is the upper limit of numerous contracts if all potential foreign customers placed their maximum desired number over the decade.


The move is likely to be denounced by Beijing, even though the U.S. first signaled its plans to approve the sale a year ago in an informal notification to Congress and it could still be years before the jets are delivered.


The announcement said that work on the 90 jets potentially to be sold under Friday’s announcement would be complete by late 2026.


Company officials have previously said they project a market for as many as 400 of the new F-16s.


When the planned sale was announced in August last year, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry told reporters that “U.S. arms sales to Taiwan severely violate the one-China principle.”


The spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said at the time that her government was urging the U.S. to “refrain” from selling the “fighter jets to Taiwan and stop arms sales to, and military contact with, Taiwan. Otherwise, the Chinese side will surely make strong reactions, and the U.S. will have to bear all the consequences.”

Since then, ties with the U.S. have only frayed further, with the two nations in a series of disputes ranging from the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic to 5G technology and Beijing’s tightening grip over Hong Kong. The Trump administration last month rejected China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea, reversing a previous policy of not taking sides in such disputes. The U.S. Navy sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the South China Sea on Friday to conduct maritime air defense operations.


In addition to Taiwan, Morocco is buying 24 F-16s jets in the first tranche of 90 aircraft that the Pentagon said was valued at $4.9 billion. The Pentagon announcement didn’t name Taiwan or Morocco, but they have been identified in a previous statement and were confirmed Friday by a person familiar with the contract.


The new F-16s are being assembled at Lockheed’s new facility in Greenville, South Carolina, which opened in April 2019. The contracting mechanism used by the Pentagon “will facilitate faster contract awards and greater pricing clarity for our foreign military partners,” Brian Brackens, an Air Force spokesman, said in a statement to Bloomberg News before the contract announcement.


“Taiwan and Morocco are expected to be the first two partner nations that will utilize this contract,” Brackens said.


The Taiwan F-16s will be equipped with a top-line fire control radar made by Northrop Grumman Corp. Called the APG-83, it would allow precision-guided munitions to be fired at greater distances, said an official familiar with the details.


Lockheed Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Possenriede told analysts on a July 21 earnings call that the company was anticipating a “quite large” F-16 order “that should get announced sometime this quarter” in which “the marquee customer is Taiwan.”


The additional 90 F-16s would add to Lockheed’s current 38-aircraft backlog.-Bloomberg
 

Sarjen

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US should have given F16 from its arsenal till the new jets arrive. Tension are way to high in the straight
 

Historian

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I wonder if Taiwan would have been better-off buying the F-35. Is the F-35 too expensive? Taiwan has a local supply chain for F-16 spare parts so that's something to consider.
 

Lancer

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Specs wise - how do these F-16's match up against China's best fighters?
 

Historian

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The latest F-16s are probably inferior to the J-20 and, in the arena of air-to-air combat, on par with China's other top fighter planes. However, the Taiwanese planes would be fighting over home territory with all the benefits that brings in terms of time-on-station, ground-based radar, and surface-to-air missiles.

Taiwan's defense strategy is not to defeat China but to 1) hold out until the United States comes to their aid, or 2) make any invasion very painful and costly for China, such that they perpetually delay the invasion until their military gets stronger. As long as China thinks an invasion will be more viable a few years in the future and not now, Taiwan will be safe.
 

Flying Dagger

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Taiwan is full of Chinese spies just like Singapore.
True and One of the reason USA is skeptical of giving them F-35s.

The latest F-16s are probably inferior to the J-20 and, in the arena of air-to-air combat, on par with China's other top fighter planes. However, the Taiwanese planes would be fighting over home territory with all the benefits that brings in terms of time-on-station, ground-based radar, and surface-to-air missiles.

Taiwan's defense strategy is not to defeat China but to 1) hold out until the United States comes to their aid, or 2) make any invasion very painful and costly for China, such that they perpetually delay the invasion until their military gets stronger. As long as China thinks an invasion will be more viable a few years in the future and not now, Taiwan will be safe.
Taiwan existence is a thin thread of time unless PRC gets broken into several pieces they will eventually takeover Taiwan.
 

Kumata

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Spies is not a problem , but Taiwan been taken by China is a big possiblity

If China takes Taiwan, F35 will have no secret.
Don't worry.. Chinese balls are not developed enough to march toward taiwan. All they can do is spread propaganda , bully the small nations, flew few fighters here and there who regularly get radar locks on them and .....few videos of chinese army flying their drones and killing their own soldiers..

On the contrary CCP should do a self assessment on their own behavior and responsibility towards wider humanity and how they have let whole world down in their greed!!!!!!!!!
 

HKedifier

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Don't worry.. Chinese balls are not developed enough to march toward taiwan. All they can do is spread propaganda , bully the small nations, flew few fighters here and there who regularly get radar locks on them and .....few videos of chinese army flying their drones and killing their own soldiers..

On the contrary CCP should do a self assessment on their own behavior and responsibility towards wider humanity and how they have let whole world down in their greed!!!!!!!!!
Taiwan always Chinese territory , it never been a dependent country in history.

And Taiwan itself also claim One China policy , it acknowledge there is only one China in the world ,both public of China and people's republic of China is part of China.
 

Kumata

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Taiwan always Chinese territory , it never been a dependent country in history.

And Taiwan itself also claim One China policy , it acknowledge there is only one China in the world ,both public of China and people's republic of China is part of China.
See your sense of history is pretty evident from your post. It would be a futile attempt to tell you more of it.

Fact - Taiwan was always a independent island / nation & is the place where real chinese / Han people lived and prospered.... Taiwan claims itself to be the real china unlike mainland china which is ruled by CCP, again a island of bunch of thugs started by mixed breed people and product of Mao who forced people to eat pigeons and is responsible for the weirds eating habit of china.

So who is real china.. CCP china or Taiwan.. the day u get this answer with facts.. do come on forum and tell us with evidence .
 

scatterStorm

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Taiwan always Chinese territory , it never been a dependent country in history.

And Taiwan itself also claim One China policy , it acknowledge there is only one China in the world ,both public of China and people's republic of China is part of China.
I disagree. Read your own history first properly, so that not someone else would have to enlighten your ignorance. When China fought a civil war, the socialist side defeated the democratic side. The democratic side fled to an Island and later found Taiwan.

They were thrown out of the mainland to take refuge of being exiled by your great leaders. Taiwan since then became an independent sovereign nation recognized by all international community.

Taiwan doesn't support one china policy, it never has. It simply say to your great leaders to stick to your mainland and don't intervene into there internal matters.

Why they are buying F16s now? For there own pleasure? For Chinese upcoming invasion of Taiwan.

Like the Nazis, China will fall. History will repeat itself.
 

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WolfPack86

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U.S. State Department approves $1.8 billion in potential arms sales to Taiwan - Pentagon
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles and artillery that could have a total value of $1.8 billion, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

Reuters reported last week that the White House was moving forward with five separate sales of sophisticated military equipment to Taiwan with a total value of around $5 billion as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China and concerns rise about Beijing’s intentions toward Taiwan.

Among other weapons systems, Wednesday’s formal notifications to Congress by the State Department were for 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp called a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), for an estimated cost of $436.1 million.

The notifications also covered 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles and related equipment made by Boeing Co, for an estimated $1.008 billion, and six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets, at an estimated cost of $367.2 million.

Further congressional notifications are expected to follow Wednesday’s including drones made by General Atomics and land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, made by Boeing, to serve as coastal defense cruise missiles.

Sources have said the 100 cruise missile stations and 400 missiles would have a cost of about $2 billion.


Reuters was first to report in September that sales of major weapons systems to Taiwan were making their way through the U.S. export process.

The formal notification gives Congress 30 days to object to any sales, but this is unlikely given broad bipartisan support for the defense of Taiwan.

The defense and foreign ministries in Taiwan welcomed the news, saying the weapons would help improve defensive capabilities.

“This arms sale shows that the United States attaches great importance to the strategic position of the Indo-Pacific region and the Taiwan Strait, and is actively assisting our country in strengthening our overall defense capabilities,” Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said.

Beijing considers Taiwan a wayward province it has vowed to bring under control, by force if necessary. Washington considers it an important democratic outpost and is required by law to provide it with the means to defend itself.

The Chinese embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but China’s foreign ministry said last week that U.S. arms sales to Taiwan severely damaged China’s sovereignty and security interests.

It urged Washington to cancel the planned sales and warned that China would “make a legitimate and necessary response according to how the situation develops.”

The U.S. administration has stepped up pressure on Beijing in the run-up to the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme.

Washington has been eager to see Taiwan bolster its defensive capabilities in the face of increasingly aggressive Chinese moves toward the island.

Last week, the U.S. national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, said that while China probably was not ready to invade Taiwan for now, the island needed to “fortify itself” against a future attack or any bid to isolate it through non-military means, such as an embargo.
 

WolfPack86

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Taiwan says new arms purchases to boost credible and asymmetric combat capabilities

Taiwan said Tuesday that recent proposed of U.S. sales of missiles and other arms systems will boost the island's ability to credibly defend itself, amid rising threats from China.

The comments from defense ministry spokesperson Shih Shun-wen came a day after China said it would exact unspecified retaliation against companies that make the weapons systems, including Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Technologies Corp. and Boeing Co.'s defense division, the lead contractor on a $2.37 billion sale of Harpoon missile systems to Taiwan.

Facing a potential Chinese foe with overwhelming superiority in missiles, soldiers, ships and planes, Taiwan has struggle to assure its own people and key ally the U.S. that it is capable of and willing to see to its own defense. The sides split amid a civil war in 1949 and China considers Taiwan its own territory to brought under its control by force if necessary.


"The purchase of these weapons will enhance Taiwan's credible combat capabilities and asymmetric combat capabilities," Shih told reporters at a briefing, using a term for countering a much stronger foe with precision weapons and advanced tactics. "This will also enhance our overall combat capabilities to contribute to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

The Trump administration on Monday notified Congress of plans for the Harpoon system, whose missiles are capable of striking ships and land targets. Boeing says the missile uses GPS-aided inertial navigation and delivers a 500-pound blast warhead. It can target coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, ships in port, and port and industrial facilities.

That followed another proposed sale announced Oct. 21 to provide $1.8 billion worth of weaponry, including missile and rocket systems, and upgraded equipment for Taiwan's F-16 jet fighters.

Taiwan has long been an irritant in U.S.-China relations. Washington has no formal relations with the island's democratically elected government but is its main ally. U.S. law requires the government to ensure Taiwan can defend itself. In recent years, weapons sales to the island have increased in quantity and quality, as China builds the world's second most powerful military dedicated largely to defeating Taiwan and achieving its goal of annexation.

Stepped-up patrols by Chinese warplanes this year have put Taiwan's forces under increasingly strain, increasing the importance of developing new weapons systems or buying them from abroad.

Beijing regularly pressures American companies including Boeing in an effort to influence U.S. policy. China is one of Boeing's biggest markets for commercial aircraft, which might make it vulnerable to a boycott, but China's defense ministry mentioned only Boeing's military arm, Boeing Defense, not its civilian jetliner business.

 

Synergy

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Spies is not a problem , but Taiwan been taken by China is a big possiblity

If China takes Taiwan, F35 will have no secret.

utmost China can do, is to lob some missiles and bombs. they even won't be able to set foot on Taiwan.
 

Synergy

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Specs wise - how do these F-16's match up against China's best fighters?
more than a match. only SU 35s can give it a fight. everything else will be just for target practice.
(specs wise. quantity wise they will give a fight).
 

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