ua en ru

U.S. to expedite deliveries of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan

U.S. to expedite deliveries of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan F-16 fighter jet (photo: GettyImages)

The U.S. Air Force is exploring all options to expedite the sale of multi-role F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, aiming to deliver 66 new aircraft by the end of 2026, according to Bloomberg.

U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns in a letter to the Air Force command, noting that the promised deliveries of fighter jets to Taiwan might be jeopardized by expanding regional security issues worldwide, including U.S. commitments to Ukraine and Israel.

Members of the House of Representatives stated that delays in the modernization program for existing Taiwanese F-16s are approaching three years due to the lack of key components. Furthermore, the delivery of 66 new aircraft, built by Lockheed Martin, has been delayed by more than 15 months.

They wrote that the United States cannot afford to make too many promises and fail to fulfill its commitments to its closest friends.

Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Andrew Hunter responded, stating that 136 aircraft have been delivered as part of the F-16 modernization program. He also mentioned plans to deliver 66 new aircraft by the end of 2026.

Threat of war between Taiwan and China

One of the main reasons for the conflict between China and the United States is the future of Taiwan. Beijing views it as a separatist province and seeks to regain full control over it. However, Taiwan considers itself an independent country with a separate economy and democratically elected leaders.

The United States provides military assistance to Taiwan, escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing.

In November, Chinese leader Xi Jinping assured U.S. President Joe Biden that China has no plans to attack Taiwan in the near future.