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Taiwan mulls aerial refueling, early warning aircraft deals

Reporter TVBS News Staff
Release time:2024/06/14 16:33
Last update time:2024/06/14 20:23
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Photo for illustrative purposes only (Shutterstock) Taiwan mulls aerial refueling, early warning aircraft deals
Photo for illustrative purposes only (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — The Air Force Command Headquarters (空軍司令部) under the Ministry of National Defense (MND, 國防部) reported to the Legislative Yuan (立法院) on Friday (June 14) that it had reached out to countries including the United States and France in 2023 to explore the acquisition of aerial refueling tankers and E-2 Hawkeye early warning aircraft.

These invitations were extended via the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States and the French Military Association (法國軍協組) to engage civilian manufacturers about potential wet lease (short-term leasing) or purchase options to enhance Taiwan's military capabilities.

 

Although no definitive plans have been established, the Air Force Command Headquarters is reportedly committed to continuing its evaluation and seeking support to improve aircraft endurance and response times.

This initiative follows a suggestion by former Taiwan People's Party legislator Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) last year, advocating for aerial refueling tankers to bolster the Air Force's strike capabilities and defense range amid increasing intrusions by Chinese aircraft into Taiwanese airspace.

His proposal was approved, prompting the MND to assess various procurement strategies and to commit to delivering a detailed report within three months.
 

The Air Force Command Headquarters also noted that the MND has sanctioned the purchase of the new E-2D early warning aircraft for several years, but adjustments in the defense budget have delayed finalizing the procurement year with the U.S. A phased acquisition strategy is currently under consideration.

Taiwan Affairs

#Taiwan military# aerial refueling# E-2 Hawkeye# defense procurement# Air Force# military capabilities# Taiwan airspace# Taiwan US military cooperation# French military procurement# Taiwan defense budget adjustments

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