Taiwan’s defense minister has recently reiterated his country’s interest in procuring the fifth-generation fighter jet from the United States.
Date: May 15, 2018
By: Franz-Stefan Gady
Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense, Yen Teh-fa, has once more reiterated his country’s
interest in procuring the F-35B, the U.S. Marine Corps’ short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of Lockheed Martin’s supersonic fifth-generation fighter jet.
In a recent interview with local media, the defense minister stated that the F-35B matches the Republic of China Air Force’s (ROCAF) requirement for a STOVL fighter aircraft.
“The air force’s operational requirements dictate that the next generation of fighters must possess stealth characteristics, be short take-off capable and be able to fight beyond visual range,” the minister said on May 14. “The F-35 is a fine fighter and we are seeking it.”
“To answer the question as to whether we have formally requested the F-35 from the U.S., although we have been holding dialogues with U.S. officials, they have not reached a definitive conclusion,” according to the minister. “U.S. officials are evaluating it, and they might have their own concerns over its high cost or other considerations.”