TAIPEI — Taiwan and the U.S. are expected to sign a military contract next month as part of the $5.8 billion arms sales that had irked rival China, media reported June 25.
The U.S announced in September that it would equip Taiwan’s aging U.S.-made F-16 A/B jets with new technologies, in a deal that fell short of the island’s fervent wish for 66 new and more powerful F-16 C/Ds.
Among the equipment to be upgraded is a new Active Electronically Scanned Array, which allows aircraft to broadcast powerful signals while still remaining undetected, the United Evening News said.
The U.S. has quoted a price of $600 million for the radars, it said, adding that Taiwan may finish the signing of the contract before July 26.
Taiwan’s defense ministry declined to comment on the report.
The air force said in a statement last month it had received a “letter of answer” from Washington and was screening the items and prices listed.
China had expressed “great indignation” over the arms deal, summoning the U.S. ambassador and warning the move would undermine relations between the two world powers and affect ties with Taiwan.
Taiwan’s defense ministry has said the proposed upgrade, which will take 12 years to complete, would give its F-16 A/Bs a significant boost.
The jets will be equipped with radar capable of detecting Chinese stealth aircraft and may also be armed with precision munitions, according to the ministry.