(Central News Agency, Washington, 20th, comprehensive foreign news reports) More than 20 Republican members of Congress in the United States warned that the two F-16 fighter jet programs included in the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan still face a “high risk” of further falling behind in delivery schedule, demanding that The Ministry of Defense is “focused” on fulfilling its commitments to its “closest allies”.
Bloomberg reported that more than 20 lawmakers, led by House Armed Services Committee Vice Chairman Rob Wittman, said in a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on the 17th, They affirm the efforts of the Biden administration to speed up the delivery of fighter aircraft, but they are worried that the difficulties encountered in the production and transfer of F-16s in the past may still not be solved.
In recent weeks, there have been competing U.S. military aid commitments to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. These lawmakers worry that this may exceed Washington’s ability to deal with multiple conflicts at the same time.
Rob Wittman said in the letter, “As regional security issues continue to expand around the world, we urge you to focus on providing the military assistance we have promised to Taiwan. For our closest allies, we cannot appear to have promised A situation where there is too much but not enough.”
The lawmakers asked Kendall to submit a report by December 18 detailing the progress of Taiwan’s existing 141 F-16 fighter jets and the 66 new ones that will be built by Lockheed Martin. F-16 fighter production status.
According to the letter, the renovation plan has been delayed for nearly three years due to a lack of key parts. In addition, the delivery of new fighter jets has been delayed by “more than 15 months” because the original equipment manufacturer did not anticipate the complexity of software development.
In the letter, the lawmakers also mentioned China’s frequent exercises in the sea and airspace around Taiwan and emphasized their willingness to cooperate with the Pentagon to ensure that arms deliveries to Taiwan are completed on time.
Taiwan officials said in May that Taiwan purchased 66 F-16s from the United States for about US$8 billion. The first two were originally scheduled to be delivered between October and December this year, but have been postponed to July to September 2024. The entire arms sales case was originally to be completed from 2025 to 2026, but the estimated delivery time has now been extended to 2026 to 2027.
Of the arms sales approved and purchased by Taiwan from the United States since 2019, US$14.3 billion has been delayed. The above two F-16 projects accounted for US$12.7 billion. Other weapons purchased by Taiwan include the “Patriot” and “Stinger” anti-aircraft missiles, “Harpoon” anti-ship missiles, heavy torpedoes, and the High Mobility Multiple Launch Rocket System (HIMARS, commonly known as Haimas) provided by the United States to Ukraine.
“Given the Department of Defense’s history of delays in executing these types of foreign military sales, the complexity of F-16 software integration and logistical delivery challenges, we are evaluating the status of these cases,” Wittman told Bloomberg. There is a high risk (of further delays).”
Spokespeople for Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency did not respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment. (Translator: Shi Shi/Verification: Chen Zhengyi) 1121120