Acquire Anti-Submarine Aircraft From U.S (28
Taiwan military is deciding to purchase US-made
C-27J Spartan anti-submarine aircraft rather than the P-3C Orion
and S-3 Viking. The P-3C Orion and S-3 Viking are both out of
production and resuming the line would add significantly to the
cost of the aircraft. Spare parts and technical support for the
P-3C and S-3 would also be more costly.
The P-3C Orion was offered to Taiwan by Mr. George
Bush in April 2001, but the cost of reopening manufacturer Lockheed
Martin's assembly line would be US$300 million per plane.
Taiwan's current fleet is the S-2 aircraft. They were upgraded
by Northrop Grumman and entered service as S-2Ts with the Taiwanese
navy in 1990. However, they have been in service for 40 years
and are in dire condition.
Another alternative would be to refurbish P-3B airframes, at
an estimated US$66 million per plane. But price and capabilities
make the purchase of the C-27J Spartan most favourable.
The C-27J is a medium-sized military transport developed by Lockheed
Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems that requires only short
take-off and landing runways.
Another appeal of the C-27J is that Taiwan's state-owned Aerospace
Industrial Development Corp constructs the horizontal and vertical
tail assemblies for the aircraft.
Foreign military experts have advised Taiwan to beef up its anti-submarine
capabilities to defend herself against China's Russia-built Kilo-class