First F-16V Fighter Jet Delivered

Taiwan unveiled the first of three new F-16V fighter jets on Friday, saying they would help it better defend against China’s rapidly expanding military power, which has been threatening to take Taiwan by force if necessary.

President Ma Ying-jeou, who announced the F-16V aircraft on Friday, went to the Global War on Terrorism Headquarters at the Makuhari Messe convention center to watch the launch of the first of three aircraft with the debut of the new defensive fighter jet.

The aircraft, which is said to be up to 75 percent more survivable than older versions of the F-16, is made by Lockheed Martin and is called the “Taiwan F-16V at Conqueror.”

The Department of Defense made clear Wednesday that military force is still on the table to defend Taiwan against China, the second largest power in the region.

Speaking in a speech on the occasion of the first F-16V’s delivery, President Ma Ying-jeou reminded the world that military force was still the most effective means to deter an aggressor and maintain freedom of action for all.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou carried out the second test of a new, sophisticated mobile gun system Friday on an F-16V fighter jet, which he described as a new defensive development. In the second test, which followed the first test in November, the new weapon has been successfully directed by an air navigation system at Tienanmen Square in central Taiwan, where Chinese military forces are thought to have been stationed for decades. [link to Pentagon Flickr]

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