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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Budget, technology key to building new warplanes: defense minister

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/24 21:53:16

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said Wednesday the country's overall fiscal situation, defense budget and technological expertise should all be taken into account regarding the question of whether Taiwan should build next-generation warplanes.

Besides taking into account the government's finance availability, technological capability is equally important in building new military aircraft, Kao said, adding that Taiwan will not purchase any defense weapons and military equipment that it can build by itself.

"Judging from our aerospace capabilities, we may still have a long way to go before being able to build a new generation of warplanes on our own," Kao said.

The minister made the remarks during a legislative committee session, during which opposition Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chia-lung asked if the Ministry of National Defense plans to purchase next-generation warplanes from other countries or build them locally.

Responding to Kuomintang Legislator Ma Wen-chun's question on the high costs of Taiwan's U.S.-built long-range early warning radar and Patriot missiles in comparison with Japan's missile defense system that Japan jointly built with the U.S., Air Force Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Chen Tien-sheng said that "from the point of view of the functions, the prices of our equipment were worthwhile."

Taiwan and Japan's anti-missile defense systems are not the same and they have different functions, Chen said.

(By Rogge Chen and Jamie Wang)

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