September 22, 2011
The Obama administration formally notified Congress and announced details of its decision to sell Taiwan a new $5.8 billion package of arms, which includes an upgrade package to Taiwan’s existing fighter jets — but not the new F-16 jets it had requested.
“The recipient is one of the major powers in Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region,” stated the notification on the website of the¬†Defense Security Cooperation Agency, where foreign military sales are posted. “It is in the U.S. national interest to assist the recipient in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability, which will contribute to an acceptable military balance in the area.”
The bulk of the arms package is made up of $5.3 billion worth of retrofits for Taiwan’s 145 F-16 A/B jet fighters.