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US-Taiwan Business Council Believes that the Obama Administration Remains Committed to Taiwan’s F-16 Upgrade Program

Recent reports have indicated that the alleged defunding by the U.S. Air Force of the combat avionics programmed extension suite (CAPES) will negatively impact Taiwan’s F-16 A/B upgrade program. The US-Taiwan Business Council believes these reports to be inaccurate. Should this defunding occur, it will have no impact on the schedule or cost for Taiwan’s extensive upgrade program, including on the development of the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.

The Council understands that the U.S. Air Force remains fully committed to the Taiwan F-16 upgrade program, and that their assurances are reflected in the signed Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA). That commitment ensures that the cost and schedule put in place by the LOA remains, and that the Taiwan military will not see any changes to their program even if the CAPES program is altered. This extends through the upgrade and into the sustainment of the upgraded equipment.

Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers said, “I am pleased that the U.S. Air Force remains committed to the Taiwan upgrade program and to the assurances that were made in the LOA. This retrofit program is the first of two steps to upgrade Taiwan’s fighter fleet, with the second step – purchase of replacement F-16 C/Ds – still to be approved.

Hammond-Chambers added, “The ongoing impact of tighter U.S. defense spending, and the decisions impacting fighter upgrades for legacy U.S. equipment, merely highlights the need for the U.S. to continue to build capacity among its Asia Pacific security allies, including Taiwan. Taiwan has a legitimate need for additional fighters to meet its sovereign security requirements, and F-16 C/Ds would best fit that need.

 

US-Taiwan Business Council Believes that the Obama Administration Remains Committed to Taiwan’s F-16 Upgrade Program (PDF file)

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