Taiwanese F-16V fighterInternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US deliveries of new F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan have been delayed due to “complex developmental challenges,” an Air Force official said in a statement to Sputnik on Thursday.

"Taiwan's new-build F-16 Block 70 program may be delayed due in part to complex developmental challenges," the official said.

According to the official, the US government, Taiwan and Lockheed Martin are actively working to mitigate the delays and to deliver the fully capable aircraft to partners as soon as possible.Earlier in May, Taiwanese officials said they expect the first two of the 66 new F-16 fighter jets to be delivered between July and September of 2024, adding that the delay is caused by software issues with the aircraft, media reported.WorldUS, Taiwan Clinch ’21st Century Trade’ Pact Deal Amid Washington-Beijing Tensions19 May, 08:45 GMTIn 2019, the United States approved a $8 billion sale of 66 new F-16 jets for Taiwan, which would grow its fleet to more than 200 such aircraft.Taiwan remains one of the main bones of contention between the US and China. Beijing considers the island (which has been governed separately from the mainland since the end of the civil war in 1949) to be a part of the country, and considers any contact other nations have with Taipei to be nothing but foreign meddling in China’s affairs.Washington has no official relations with the island, following the “One China” policy, as it maintains ties with the PRC. However, the US enjoys vast trade and cooperation with Taipei, selling arms to Taiwan and buying its semiconductors.

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