Taiwan Says It Cannot Afford New U.S. Anti-Submarine Helicopters
Taiwan signalled on Thursday (May 5) that it had abandoned a plan to buy advanced new anti-submarine warfare helicopters from the United States, saying they were too expensive.
Taiwan had earlier said it was planning to buy 12 MH-60R anti-submarine helicopters, made by Lockheed Martin unit Sikorsky, but when asked in parliament about recent changes to Taiwan’s purchases of new U.S. weapons, Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng mentioned the helicopter case first.
“The price is too high, beyond the scope of our country’s ability,” he said. “We don’t view arms sales as a trifling matter, and we have back-up plans,” he added, without elaborating.
Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, is undertaking a military modernisation programme to improve its capabilities to fend off a Chinese attack, including with precision weapons like missiles.
President Tsai Ing-wen has championed the concept of “asymmetric warfare,” which involves developing high-tech, highly mobile weapons that are hard to destroy and can deliver precision attacks.