The U.S. Department of State has approved the possible sale of F-16 Infrared Search and Track systems and related equipment to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Sales program.
Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the fighter jets, is the principal contractor for the proposed acquisition.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States submitted the request to buy the military equipment worth an estimated $500 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said it submitted the official notification of the proposed transaction to Congress on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Pentagon assured that the sale of ISRT systems will not affect U.S. military readiness nor alter the military balance in the Taiwan region.
According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, the aircraft system will improve the capability of its fleet of F-16Vs to detect and track long-range targets and enhance air operations.
Taiwan has been a target of Chinese aggression, with Beijing regularly sending military aircraft and drones to the island nation’s airspace.