Taiwan wavers on F-16 deal, says it needs more advanced fighter jets
TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan said on Monday that it needs fighter jets which are more advanced than the upgraded F-16 announced by the United States, suggesting that it was dropping its bid for dozens of the aircraft.
Taipei applied in 2007 to buy 66 F-16 C/D fighters, which have better radar and more powerful weapons systems than its current F-16 A/Bs, in response to China's perceived military threat.
Washington in September, 2011 said it had agreed to upgrade Taiwan's 146 ageing F-16 A/Bs in a US$5.85 billion (S$7.2 billion) deal but it held off on the sale of new jets.
Taiwan's Defence Minister Kao Hua-chu said for the first time on Monday that Taipei will not necessarily take the deal even if Washington gives the nod.