Apple Daily has raised eyebrows with a report that the military wants to procure 66 F-16Vs from the U.S. at $6 billion NT per jet. Critics say this is an astronomical sum that’s three times what Bahrain had paid the U.S. for the same model. Today the Ministry of National Defense confirmed that Taiwan had filed a request for new fighter jets. Defense officials said the cost reported in local media was “pure speculation,” but they declined to provide more details.
After being in service for 20 years, Taiwan’s 144 F16 Fighting Falcons have recently been upgraded to the latest F-16V configuration. Now military is reportedly seeking to procure another 66 F-16Vs, and the astronomical cost has sparked debate in the political arena. [FULL STORY8]