PARIS 2009: IDF upgrades may not be enough for Taiwan

Taiwan IDF.JPG

Taiwan plans to upgrade its indigenous AIDC F-CK-1 fighters to the C/D “Goshawk” standard, but it may not be enough. Washington is still stalling on Taipei’s request to buy 66 Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds, and there may be a major capability gap vis-a-vis China’s air force without them.

Apart from the IDFs, the air force also operates Lockheed F-16A/Bs, Northrop F-5 and Dassault Mirage 2000-5s. If there is a conflict across the straits, they will come up against China’s Chengdu J-10s, Chengdu FC-1s, Sukhoi Su-27s and Su-30s.

The assumption is that Taiwan will be the defender in such a situation, which means that it would require fewer fighters than China. So while its current fighters may be sufficient, bolstering them with a fourth generation fighter like the F-16C/D – and proper surface-to-air defences – would greatly increase its chances of warding off an air attack.

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One Response to PARIS 2009: IDF upgrades may not be enough for Taiwan

  1. Masboy 18 June, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    “If there is a conflict across the straits”? You must be a Rip Van Winkle. Taiwan and China are on cordial terms now. So, what Washington can do is,play along and tell Taiwan “Sorry I can’t sell it to you ’cause I don’t want to anger China”.

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