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Taiwan displays upgraded fighter jets with 'smart' munitions

Published on Jan 16, 2014 6:13 PM

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan on Thursday unveiled a fleet of upgraded fighter jets built domestically, with President Ma Ying-jeou hailing the rapid modernisation of the island's forces despite warming ties with China.

A dozen Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDFs) with advanced combat capabilities were displayed at a ceremony at a military base in the southern city of Tainan.

The IDFs are capable of carrying "smart" bombs developed under a project codenamed "Wan Chien" (Ten Thousand Swords) and are equipped with superior flight control systems, officials said.

"The bomb is as good as the US weapon of its kind," said Mr Ma, who presided over the ceremony and later raised a toast at the base to laud the island's defence modernisation efforts. The island began developing its own smart weapons after the United States - Taiwan's main arms supplier - refused to sell them guided bombs.

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