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Taiwan passes ‘special' funding of USD8.6 billion for naval and air force modernisation

Taiwan's Legislative Yuan has passed a ‘special budget' of TWD236.95 billion (USD8.6 billion) in additional funding to support naval and air force modernisation.

The allocation, which is in addition to Taiwan's annual defence budget, is a slight decline on the TWD240 billion special appropriation announced by the Legislative Yuan in November 2021.

Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) indicated in a 11 January statement that the decline was a result of political negotiations.

“The special budget proposal for naval and air force enhancement has been reviewed by the Legislative Yuan and negotiated by the ruling and opposition parties,” it said. The DGBAS added that the funding will be made available from 2022 to 2026.

In August, Taiwan's Executive Yuan said the island's proposed defence budget for 2022 will be TWD471.7 billion. The allocation is a nominal 4% increase over the 2021 defence allocation of TWD453.4 billion.

The 2022 defence budget also includes a special budget of TWD40 billion for Taiwan's procurement of 66 Lockheed Martin F-16V fighter aircraft, which was approved in 2019.

This special allocation totals TWD247.2 billion from 2020 to 2026. The F-16Vs are scheduled for delivery to Taiwan between 2023 and 2028.

The newly approved special budget is intended to support several procurement programmes.

Earlier drafts of the funding proposal showed that priorities include unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), ground-based anti-ship missiles, a ground-based air-defence system, and naval vessels.

Other procurements include locally developed Wan Chien (‘Ten Thousand Swords') stand-off air-to-surface missiles, Hsiung Feng IIE (‘Brave Wind': HF IIE) surface-to-surface cruise missiles, Tien-Kung III (‘Sky Bow III') surface-to-air missiles, and Tien-Chien II (‘Sky Sword II') medium-range air-to-air missiles.

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