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Taiwan progresses ‘special’ funding plan as relations with Beijing deteriorate

Jon Grevatt, principal at Janes takes a look at the plan to allocate TWD240 billion to enhance sea and air combat capability

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has advanced its plan to allocate TWD240 billion (USD8.6 billion) in additional military funding to enhance the island’s sea and air combat capability. The MND submitted its funding plan for approval to the island’s Legislative Yuan on 4 October. The proposal was approved by Taiwan’s Executive Yuan in September. 

The funding plan was submitted on the same day that the MND announced that nearly 150 People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft had been deployed near Taiwan since 1 October: the date Beijing celebrated the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The funding proposal – contained in ‘regulations on the procurement of sea and air combat power enhancement’ – appropriates the funding over five years. The allocation is in addition to Taiwan’s annual defense budget. The new proposal outlines a plan to procure unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), ground-based anti-ship missiles, a ground-based air defense system, naval vessels, and “other urgently needed systems”.

According to the regulation, the funding will also enable the procurement of locally developed Wan Chien (Ten Thousand Swords) stand-off air-to-surface missiles and Hsiung Feng IIE (‘Brave Wind': HF IIE) surface-to-surface cruise missiles.

In its new submission, the MND said the funding is required “in response to Chinese threats and the need to urgently strengthen self-defense”. It said the procured capabilities will help ensure “the security of Taiwan and stability in the Asia-Pacific region”.

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