Taiwan’s defence minister says he is expecting 66 fighter jets from the United States by the end of 2026, the state-owned Central News Agency reported.
Defence Minister, Yen Teh-fa, provided the timeline during questioning by politicians.
It came after Premier Su Tseng-chang delivered a statement to a full session of Taiwan’s parliament on a draft special budget authorizing the purchase of “new model fighter aircraft”.
In spite of objections by China, which maintains self-governing Taiwan is part of its territory; U.S President Donald Trump, approved the sale of the advanced F-16V, or Viper, jets in August.
Su said it showed that Taiwan is an important partner in Washington’s `Indo-Pacific strategy.’
The draft special budget would allocate 250 billion Taiwan dollars (8 billion U.S dollars) for the purchase.
Yen said one single-seater and one two-seater F-16V will be received in 2023, while the remainder will be delivered by the end of 2026.
Taiwan has had its own government since 1949, when the Chinese Nationalists fled after losing a civil war to the Communists.