US delivery of F-16 jets to Taiwan delayed again: Taipei

TEHRAN, May 04 (MNA) – Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) says the delivery of dozens of advanced fighter jets from the United States has been delayed due to supply chain disruptions.

The self-ruled Island’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Thursday that the US postponed the delivery of 66 new F-16Vs and the ministry was working to minimize the damage and "make up deficiencies.”

Back in 2019, Washington approved a $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taipei, which have new avionics, weapons, and radar systems to better face down the Chinese air force, including its J-20 stealth fighter.

The deal would take the island's F-16 fleet to more than 200 jets, the largest in Asia.

The first of the new fighter jets was meant to be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year but that has been delayed to the third quarter of next year due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, the ministry said.

Speaking to reporters at parliament, Chiu said Taipei had asked Washington to "make up the deficiency," including prioritizing spare part deliveries for the existing fleet.

"Multiple channels are being used, and we are minimizing the damage from this," he said, adding they still expected to get the full order delivered before 2026.

Chiu said the ministry is using diplomatic channels, such as via the de facto US embassy in Taipei.

Taiwan has complained of delays to deliveries of American weapons since last year, as US arms makers turn supplies to Ukraine to support its war effort against Russia.

Michael McCaul, chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, said during a visit to Taipei last month he was doing everything possible to speed up arms deliveries.

The US is Taiwan's principal international supporter and arms supplier.

China views the island as an inseparable part of the mainland, repeatedly warming Washington against unwise provocations in this regard.

It has repeatedly opposed Taiwan’s contacts with the US, warning that the Taiwan issue is “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.”

The United States does not recognize Taiwan as a country and officially supports the "One China" policy but regularly oversteps its own principles.


News Code 200280


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