The State Department has approved a potential $500 million deal with Taiwan to continue the country’s F-16 pilot training program with the U.S. Air Force.
Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) officials notified Congress of the agreement on Monday.
The program with Taiwan at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona includes F-16 flight training, supply and maintenance support, repair parts, support equipment, program management, personnel training, fuel services and logistics support work.
“This program enables the recipient to develop mission ready and experienced pilots through CONUS training. The training provides a ‘capstone’ course that takes experienced pilots and significantly improves their tactical proficiency,” DSCA officials said in a statement.
URS Federal Services and L3 Technologies [LLL] are the prime contractors for the training program.
“The announcement of an arms sale today, the ongoing pilot training, maintenance and logistics of Taiwan’s F-16 aircraft at Luke Air Force Base, is a timely reminder of the ongoing relevance of the Taiwan Relations Act which is being celebrated for its 40th anniversary this week. The Trump Administration is continuing to provide timely and regular arms sales in support of Taiwan’s ongoing military readiness,” Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council, said in a statement.
Taiwan first purchased 150 F-16’s in 1992, with the Trump administration currently considering a new deal for 60 aircraft.