In the face of stiff Chinese opposition, the US State Department yesterday approved an $8 Billion sale of 66 F-16 Block 70 fighter jets to Taiwan without its formidable array of air to air and air to ground weapons.
China has already evinced fears that the latest Lockheed Martin F-16s have the capacity to get past Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) defences and attack the mainland. It has been lobbying forcefully against the sale to Taiwan which it considers a renegade province.
It has even threatened economic sanctions against US firms engaged in defence sales to Taiwan.
While the sale announcement included all the support equipment for weapons mounting and integration, the actual weapons package was not included in the sale.
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan for the 66 F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft and related equipment and support for an estimated cost of $8 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
TECRO (which represents Taiwan in the US) has requested to purchase 66 F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft; 75 F110 General Electric Engines (includes 9 spares); 75 Link-16 Systems (includes 9 spares); 75 Improved Programmable Display Generators (iPDG) (includes 9 spares); 75 APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radars (includes 9 spares); 75 Modular Mission Computers 7000AH (includes 9 spares); 75 LN-260 Embedded GPS/INS (includes 9 spares); 75 M61 Vulcan 20mm Guns (includes 9 spares); 138 LAU-129 Multipurpose Launchers; 6 FMU-139D/B Fuze for Guided Bombs; 6 FMU-139D/B Inert Fuze for Guided Bombs; 6 FMU 152 Fuze for Guided Bombs: 6 MK-82 Filled Inert Bombs for Guided Bombs; and 3 KMU-572 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Tail Kits, GBU-38/54.
Also included are 75 AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispensers; 120 ALE-50 towed decoy or equivalent; 75 APX-126 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (includes 9 spares); 75 AN/ALQ-211 A(V)4 Airborne Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) or equivalent (includes 9 spares); EW Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) and Standard Electronic Module (SEM) spares; 150 ARC-238 radios (includes 18 spares); Secure Communications and Cryptographic Appliques 73 KIV-78 cryptographic COMSEC devices, and 10 AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders (SKLs) for COMSEC; 3 Joint Mission Planning Systems (JMPS); 27 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) II with Night Vision Device (NVD) compatibility or Scorpion Hybrid Optical-based Inertial Tracker (HOblT) helmet mounted cueing system with NVD compatibility; 70 NVDs; 6 NVD spare image intensifier tubes; Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD); cartridges; chaff; flares; 3 each DSU-38A/B Precision Laser Guidance Sensor (PLGS) for GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) integration; PGU-28A/B 20mm ammunition; telemetry units for integration and test; bomb components; twenty (20) ground debriefing stations.
Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program (ECISAP) support including EW database and Mission Data File (MDF) development (classified/unclassified); communications equipment; classified/unclassified spares, repair, support equipment, test equipment, software delivery/support, personnel training, training equipment, flight/tactics manuals, publications and technical documentation; bomb racks; Organizational, Intermediate and Depot level tooling; Pilot Life Support Equipment (PLSE); Alternate Mission Equipment (AME); ground training devices (including flight and maintenance simulators); containers; development, integration, test and engineering, technical and logistical support of munitions; aircraft ferry; studies and surveys; construction services; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistics, program and sustainment support. The total estimated program cost is $8 billion.
This proposed sale will contribute to the recipient’s capability to provide for the defense of its airspace, regional security, and interoperability with the United States. The recipient currently operates the F-16A/B. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft and services into its arms forces.