The production line of F-16s, a world-famous fighter produced by Lockheed-Martin, one of the heads of American arm conglomerates, may be forced to shut down after the delivery of its last order of 60 aircraft in mid-2013. However, those in charge of the corporate business development remain pretty optimistic about the future if Taiwan's order for 60 F-16C/Ds is approved by the Congress. The workers of the production line are pinning their hopes on this order to keep their jobs.
Aerospace analysts' dim review and India's decision not to buy this fighter led to the shrinking of F-16 production. Further, the US military itself is not interested in F-16s anymore. Even under downsized defense budget, the Pentagon would rather pay 100 million dollars for an F-35 than 55 million for an F-16. Also, some international business speculators deemed it very unlikely that US Congress would approve the sale of F-16C/Ds to Taiwan. Do we still need to buy something only few consider fine?
As a citizen and a taxpayer of Taiwan, I support a limited buildup of self-defense capability, but I oppose to the buy of F-16s, which Lockheed-Martin has been making for 35 years. Its production line may be closed anytime now if not for our order. We are not sure how much after-service we can get after the delivery of the last of our purchased aircraft.
For more, check out today’s United Daily at http://udn.com/NEWS/WORLD/WOR6/6380077.shtml