Taiwan. The new F-16Vs presented are to protect the island in the event of a possible attack by China. The effect of US-Taiwan cooperation

Taiwan unveiled its latest military equipment on Thursday. These are modernized F-16 fighters, which are to be the heart of the island’s defense in the event of a possible air attack by China. In recent months, Beijing has seen increased military pressure in Taipei.

US-made fighter planes crossed the sky above Chiayi airbase on the island’s southwest coast at the Thursday presentation. The pilots performed aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the capabilities of Taiwan’s first F-16V fighter squadron, the Viper.

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The modernized fighters are to be the heart of the island’s defensePAP / EPA / RITCHIE B. TONGO

The F-16V was created as a result of the modernization of old fighters

According to the official Central Information Agency (CNA), the planes are modernized F-16A / B fighters, originally purchased by Taiwan in the 1990s. They are equipped with advanced radar systems, among others. Reuters reports that the F-16V can carry Raytheon Technologies’ advanced AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

The CNA added that the island has plans to upgrade 141 fighters by 2023. So far, 64 machines have been modernized. The $ 3.96 billion F-16 upgrade is being led by US-based Lockheed Martin and Taiwanese Aerospace Industrial Development (AIDC). This is the latest example of military cooperation between Washington and Taipei. In addition, CNA reported that Taiwan has also purchased 66 new F-16Vs from Lockheed Martin, with delivery scheduled to begin in 2023.

President of Taiwan: I believe more countries will be on our side

More than two dozen F-16Vs were presented at the Chiayi base on Thursday. At the ceremony, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said the creation of the new F-16V combat wing “showed the deepening friendship between the island and the US.” She added that “the Lockheed Martin team provided a lot of help in completing the modernization.”

“This not only signals the further progress of friendship between Taiwan and the US, but also represents a strong commitment to Taiwan-US relations,” she assessed.

Tsai also thanked the Taiwanese Air Force for their “day and night” work to protect the island. – Regardless of any intrusion, (our air force – ed.) Can immediately take to the skies to intercept and guide intruders. This showed our determination to defend our airspace, she said. “I believe that as long as we defend our free and democratic values, more countries with similar ideals will be on our side,” she added.

The President of Taiwan during the presentation of the new F-16VPAP / EPA / RITCHIE B. TONGO

Chinese pressure on Taiwan

The communist authorities in Beijing recognize democratically ruled Taiwan as part of their territory and seek to take control of it. In recent years, efforts aimed at the diplomatic isolation of the island – which has remained politically separate since 1949 – have intensified and military activities in its vicinity have been intensified, which the Taipei government considers to be an attempt to intimidate.

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In just five days in October, Beijing dispatched 150 combat aircraft that breached the island’s airspace. This will prompt Taipei to issue radio warnings and deploy anti-aircraft missile defense systems to monitor Beijing’s activities. The situation in Taiwan was the longest-debated topic during Monday’s virtual summit attended by US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Frequent Chinese and US military exercises in the region have raised concerns about conflict over Taiwan. The US has no official diplomatic ties to Taiwan, but it is the island’s main international sponsor and arms supplier, which Beijing does not like.

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Main photo source: PAP / EPA / RITCHIE B. TONGO

About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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