President Tsai, Ying-wen attended the “F-16 Maintenance Center Achievement Presentation” event today and pointed out that the establishment of the F-16 Maintenance Center symbolizes the achievements of defense industry collaboration between Taiwan and the United States. President Tsai also thanked Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) and other enterprises for their dedication and support, creating a model of government-civilian cooperation to strengthen Taiwan’s national defense capabilities, and allowing Taiwan to move forward smoothly on the way to national defense autonomy.
President Tsai stressed that in the face of the expansion of Chinese aggression, Taiwan would continue to strengthen cooperation with its democratic partners to defend shared beliefs and values, and everyone should continue to do their utmost to strengthen Taiwan’s national defense capabilities and resilience.
“F-16 Maintenance Center Achievement Presentation” was held at AIDC’s premises in the morning. After arriving, President Tsai first visited the exhibition area of AIDC and other manufacturers to learn more about the achievements and products displayed. A total of 11 suppliers, including AIDC, have received the Air Force’s airworthiness certificate, demonstrating the gradual maturity of domestic industry capabilities.
In her address, President Tsai noted that she attended the “F-16 Maintenance Center Achievement Presentation” to learn more about the achievements and development of the center so far. During her address on National Day, President Tsai stressed that Taiwan will face a more challenging future and a changeable geopolitical situation, and that the strengthening of national defense capabilities and resilience is pivotal for Taiwan’s survival, and that national defense autonomy is an important key to building the resilience of national defense forces.
President Tsai also pointed out that since she took office, the government has been actively promoting the “5+2 Industrial Innovation Plan” and the “Six Core Strategic Industries” policy, which calls for the establishment of a supply chain for the defense industry as one of the key initiatives.
President Tsai believes that meeting the capacity for independent maintenance of warplanes and reducing the time and cost required for their maintenance are important tasks in establishing a supply chain for the defense industry; this is also the goal of the F-16 Maintenance Center established two years ago by the government in cooperation with the private sector.
She noted that the F-16 Maintenance Center is a logistic maintenance center jointly promoted and established by Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-16 multirole fighter aircraft, and AIDC, and that the establishment of this center symbolizes the achievement of defense industry cooperation between Taiwan and the United States.
President Tsai also pointed out that in the past two years, through the joint efforts of the Maintenance Center, various domestic manufacturers, arms factories and NCSIST, more than 100 F-16 system parts can now be repaired locally in Taiwan, which will help resolve the “long delivery time, high unit price and high failure rate” problem of F-16 fleet system parts and components.
President Tsai emphasized said shortening the time needed to repair fighter planes would significantly improve the availability of fighter planes, and the Air Force’s physical combat capabilities will be more stable and better poised to ensure the safety of Taiwan’s airspace. For F-16 system parts maintenance work, the ability to obtain transfer of original technology after certification will test the professional capabilities of each manufacturer. She also encouraged all stakeholders to continue to improve their skills and overcome the challenges ahead.
President Tsai expressed her appreciation to AIDC and other manufacturers for their dedication and support, creating a model of cooperation between the government and the private sector to strengthen Taiwan’s national defense capabilities, and allowing Taiwan to move forward smoothly on the road to national defense autonomy, adding that “you are all important bulwarks of the R.O.C. Armed Forces in defending the country”.
President Tsai expects that the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, various maintenance centers and domestic manufacturers will continue to cooperate with each other. Through the military-led collaboration with private sectors, not only will they be able to compete for the domestic demand of the air force market and build up the core capabilities of domestic aircraft manufacturing, they will also be able to open up business opportunities in the international military-civilian aviation market and enhance Taiwan’s position in the international aerospace supply chain.
President Tsai believes that national defense autonomy has never been an easy path, and also emphasized that facing the expansion of Chinese aggression, Taiwan will continue to strengthen cooperation with its democratic partners to defend shared beliefs and values. She also stressed that the more prepared we are, the less chance there is for attempted aggressors to advance; the more united we are, the stronger and safer Taiwan will be.
Finally, President Tsai said that a crucial step has been taken today and asked everyone to continue to do their best to strengthen Taiwan’s national defense and resilience, “Let’s do it together”.
The event was attended by Secretary General of the National Security Council (NSC) Ku Li-Hsiung, Vice Premier Shen Jung-Chin, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-Hua, Deputy Secretary General of the NSC Chen Wen-Cheng, Vice Minister of National Defense Lee Tsung-hsiao, Air Force Commander in Chief Liu Ren-Yuan, and Chairman of AIDC Hu Kai-Hung.
Source: Military News Agency (November 1, 2022)