As tensions between the Republic of China (RoC – Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continue to build, the former nation unveiled a US-backed F-16 maintenance centre on 28 August.

Speaking at the official ceremony to launch the centre – which will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul for the nation’s fleet of F-16s, recently enhanced with an order for 66 new aircraft built to the latest F-16V standard – Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen, told the audience “It takes solid defence capability, not bowing and cringing, to defend the sovereignty of the Republic of China and maintain regional peace and stability.”

She also stated that opening the maintenance centre marks a major milestone in the efforts she has been promoting for years to improve and enhance Taiwan’s defence industry. She vowed that the island nation would maintain an air force she described as “solid” in its policy to ensure a robust defence against potential Chinese aggression.

The Republic of China Air Force recently received approval for its request for 66 F-16V VIPER fighters, which are now being built by Lockheed Martin under a US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

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