USTBC Comments on the Proposed FMS of F-16 Spare & Repair Parts to Taiwan

June 5, 2024

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Press Release:
The US-Taiwan Business Council Comments on the Proposed Foreign Military Sales of Standard and Non-Standard F-16 Spare and Repair Parts to Taiwan

(Arlington, Virginia, June 5, 2024)

The US-Taiwan Business Council today welcomed the announcement of two possible Foreign Military Sales to Taiwan of standard and non-standard spare and repair parts for F-16 aircraft at an estimated total cost of US$300 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certifications notifying Congress of the proposed Taiwan arms sales on June 5, 2024.

The published Congressional Notifications (transmittal numbers 24-41 and 24-42) are for standard and non-standard spare and repair parts for F-16 aircraft, including components, consumables, accessories, related equipment, and other related elements of technical, engineering, logistics, and program support.

Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers commented, “Taiwan’s F-16 fleet is a cornerstone capability in the Taiwan military’s force posture, ensuring that PLA grey zone harassment is properly challenged in peacetime and that a modern air force could be fielded during war. When Taiwan’s new tranche of F-16s is fully delivered by the end of 2026, Taiwan will have the largest fleet of F-16s in the region. Those aircraft will require significant life-cycle support. The Taiwan F-16 fleet needs to maintain high operational rates, and Taiwan committing to procurement of parts and sustainment contributes to that goal.

Hammond-Chambers added, “We are pleased that the Biden Administration continues to maintain a consistent cadence with FMS arms sales to Taiwan. However, their security assistance approach remains singularly focused on munitions and sustainment. That is a growing concern.” 

“As the recent military exercises conducted by the PLA demonstrate, Taiwan needs platforms and systems that can deal with blockade and grey zone threats. The administration’s current approach appears to singularly consider so-called asymmetric systems – even though weapons aren’t asymmetric, how they’re employed makes them so. An adjustment to this approach is sorely needed, where Taiwan’s efforts to address other contingencies are also prioritized. The latter requires a navy with substantial ships and an air force with a modern and capable fighter fleet. It is not enough to try to meet one threat or the other; we must consider both.”

President Hammond-Chambers also said, “The term ‘standard’ relates to sustainment for the original F-16 program of record from the 1990s, drawing from the United States Air Forces’ supply system. The term ‘non-standard’ refers to supplies drawn directly from the original manufacturer. In the latter case, this support relates to F-16 systems that were added after the original aircraft were bought and deployed and does not fall under the original F-16 program.

This is the first time the congressional notifications for F-16 spare and repair parts – periodically notified over many years to support Taiwan’s F-16 fleet – have been broken into more than one piece since the Obama Administration took to breaking up programs to reduce their value and thereby to avoid notifying Congress. There were no Taiwan notifications between 2011 and 2015 due to Obama Administration concerns over potential disruption to their China policy.

Source: See the DSCA website at https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/major-arms-sales

Additional Data:

For more details on Taiwan arms sales, please visit our dedicated defense website at www.ustaiwandefense.com. The post “Taiwan Arms Sales Notified to Congress 1990-2024” contains charts showing a summary of arms sales data by year, along with a link to the raw data compiled by the Council from DSCA and other sources.

Save the Date:

The 2024 US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference will take place September 22-24, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Registration is now open: www.taiwandefenseconference.com.

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