Skip to comments.Lockheed should get decision on selling F-16s to Taiwan
Posted on 07/27/2011 10:07:08 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Lockheed should get decision on selling F-16s to Taiwan
Posted Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2011
By Bob Cox
Thanks to some political horse-trading by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Lockheed Martin should finally get a decision from the Obama administration later this year about selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week struck a deal with the Republican senator by agreeing to review Taiwan's requests to buy 66 new F-16s from Lockheed Martin as well as kits to upgrade its older-model fighter jets.
Cornyn in turn agreed to release the hold he had placed blocking a confirmation vote on the nomination of Bill Burns as deputy secretary of state.
After an exchange of phone calls and a meeting with Cornyn, Clinton agreed that the administration would accept and review Taiwan's request to buy new F-16s and make a decision by Oct. 1. The deal also called for the Pentagon to release a report on the state of Taiwan's airpower capabilities that Congress ordered more than a year ago.
"Like a good senator, he [Cornyn] took a hostage and held on. He was under a tremendous amount of pressure" in Washington to allow Burns' confirmation, said Gary Schmitt, foreign policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute.
Taiwan has previously requested permission to buy 66 new F-16s as well as the kits to upgrade the older model F-16s with modern electronics and weapons systems.
A deal for would be a boon for Lockheed Martin's plant in Fort Worth, where the F-16s are assembled. The company now says that without new F-16 orders the production line will be shut down by the end of 2013, and parts of it would begin to close this year. A Taiwan deal would provide up to two years of work for
(Excerpt) Read more at star-telegram.com ...
Star-Telegram archives/Rodger Mallison
An F-16 bound for Pakistan is revealed at a ceremony in Fort Worth in 2009. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week struck a deal with Sen. John Cornyn by agreeing to review Taiwan's requests to buy 66 new F-16s.