Washington, April 16 (IANS) The US State Department has approved a possible deal with Taiwan to renew a $500 million training programme in America for Taiwanese F-16 pilots and maintenance crews.
“Today’s (Monday) notification is consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act and our support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defence capability,” a State Department official told CNN.
The training programme is based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and goes back several years.
The $500 million package covers the costs associated with the programme including flight training, participation in approved training exercises, training munitions, supply and maintenance support, and spare and repair parts.
The proposed sale is unrelated to Taiwan’s reported plans to purchase new F-16 fighter jets from the US, according to the State Department official.