Date: September 13, 2019
By: Anthony Capaccio
- State Department’s Cooper says a ‘quick move’ is anticipated
- Package includes advanced radar for firing from a distance
Taiwan has signaled to U.S. officials that it will move swiftly to complete the purchase of 66 new F-16 fighters once congressional foreign relations committees complete their review this month, according to a State Department official.
The department formally notified Congress on Aug. 20 that it approved the sale, which includes munitions, defensive electronics and a top-of-the line fire-control radar that would allow precision-guided missiles and bombs to be launched from greater distances.
Once the Taiwan deal is approved by Congress — and there’s been no sign it will be blocked — Taiwan must submit a formal Letter of Offer and Acceptance that gets translated into a signed contract with delivery dates.
“According to our counterparts in Taiwan and the Taiwan representative’s office” in the U.S. “they anticipate a quick move on their part” to finish the F-16 deal, Assistant Secretary of State Clarke Cooper, who heads State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, said in an interview. “If we are talking about the F-16s” alone “then the indicators are that’s a relatively quick turnaround from Taipei,” he said. [FULL STORY]