Done deal: Taiwan closes $62B F-16 Falcon buy


In a move sure to enrage Beijing, Taiwan finalized the purchase of F-16 fighter jets from US aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin on Friday, a source confirmed to AFP, in a massive US$62 billion, 10-year deal.

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

The self-ruled island, which China considers part of its territory, last year obtained the green light from Washington for the purchase of 66 new generation F-16s, which will allow it to modernize its defenses.

Taiwan already has a fleet of F-16s purchased in 1992.

The new contract, which the Pentagon said is for an initial delivery order of 90 jets, provides for more modern aircraft with the newest technology and weaponry, AFP reported.



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