02:17 GMT +320 August 2019
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    Two US-made F-16 fighters take off from the Chiayi air force base in southern Taiwan during a demonstration on January 26, 2016

    Pentagon Approves $500Mln to Train Taiwanese F-16 Fighter Pilots

    © AFP 2019 / SAM YEH
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) -The US Department of State has approved a half a billion dollar possible sale of F-16 pilot training, spare parts and supply equipment to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a press release.

    "The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to TECRO in the United States for the continuation of a pilot training program and maintenance/logistics support for F-16 aircraft currently at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona for an estimated cost of $500 million," the release said on Monday.

    TECR0 is responsible for maintaining bilateral relations between Taiwan and the United States.

    Taiwan Defence Minister Yen De-fa recently revealed that Taipei expects to find out whether it will be permitted to buy additional F-16 fighter jets from the United States in July, as it continues to upgrade its ageing F-16A/B fleet.

    READ MORE: Taiwan Expects to Hear Back From US About Buying Advanced F-16 Jets in July

    In February, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence requested new and advanced fighter jets in order to "demonstrate our determination and ability to defend ourselves," Taiwan Deputy Defence Minister Shen Yi-ming told reporters at the time, resulting in an outcry from Beijing.

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    training, pilot, jet, F-16, Taiwan, United States
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