Taiwan finalizes purchase of 66 F-16 fighter jets in biggest arms deal with US

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 18, 2020, 01:46 PM(IST)

File photo of a US F-16 fighter plane. Photograph:( Others )

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The $62 billion deal was finalised on Friday and is said to have angered China. 

Taiwan has finalized the purchase of 66 F-16 fighter jets from American aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin in the biggest arms sale to the island country in years. 

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The $62 billion deal was finalised on Friday and is said to have angered China. 

The United States Defense Department announced the details of the deal on its website on Friday saying that the US Air Force was given a contract to Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F-16, for 90 of the planes as part of US foreign military sales.

The Pentagon announced the contract without specifying the buyer, but a source familiar with the matter confirmed to AFP that it was Taiwan.

Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory, got a green signal from the US last year for the purchase of 66 new generation F-16s, which will allow it to modernize its defences.

The island country already has a fleet of F-16s purchased in 1992.

Beijing has warned Taiwan that it remains part of the country and will use force if Taipei ever formally moves towards declaring independence.

The arms deal comes as China portrayed its political muscle in Hong Kong and imposed the controversial security law on the international business hub. The move against Hong Kong has caused concern in Taiwan.

The humongous deal comes days after the highest level of talks between the US and Taiwan took place. The talks were the biggest since 1979 which provoked China. 

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