Air Force Sends Request to US w/o Knowledge of Military|182億飛彈延壽案 傳空軍以"維持費"偷渡
On July 9, the US approved Taiwan's request for the recertification of its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 air defense missiles, at an estimated cost of NT$18.2 billion. However, National Defense Minister Yen De-fa and Air Force Commander-in-Chief Hsiung Hou-chi were completely unaware of what was going on when it was happening.
On the 9th, the US approved Taiwan's request for the recertification of its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) air defense missiles, at an estimated cost of NT$18.2 billion. Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately issued statements of deep gratitude.
However, it has now emerged the request was sent to the US under the nose of the military higher-ups. Neither National Defense Minister Yen De-fa nor Air Force Commander-in-Chief Hsuing Hou-chi knew anything about the case.
This is all just a misunderstanding. Actually, this whole PAC-3 (case) isn't really called a "recertification" case. There are no problems with any of the operating procedures. It's just that, as I said earlier, there are some procedures that must be observed. This so-called kind of approval required from higher agencies were skipped.
The MND denies this was a recertification request, saying the Air Force drafted the proposal under "operation and maintenance fees" during its annual management meeting with the US. However, it can't be denied the Air Force ignored administrative procedure and sent in the request directly to the US without first submitting it for legislative review.
If this is an acquisition case, there is a domestic acquisition procedure to be followed. Apart from internal reviews by the Executive Yuan and Ministry of National Defense, you have to formally draft a proposal and send it to the Legislative Yuan.
Regardless of the weekly military talks -- the commanders of the three branches of the military and relevant military equipment -- I don't think senior officials had any idea what was going on or that this case existed.
The Air Force's original missile maintenance budget was NT$1.84 billion with related allocations swelling to close to NT$20 billion. The recertification or arms purchase deal, meanwhile, was announced by the US before senior government officials in Taiwan even knew about it. This means Taiwan may have no choice but to cough up the money.
We discovered this price quote did not reflect normal market prices. We can still bring up other objections as well.
One expert says this is an administrative procedure issue and the US sees it as an arms deal no matter what form it takes. In response, the MND says the case is still under review in the US and no formal agreement will be signed until the deal is reviewed by the Air Force and the US and the legislature reviews and approves a budget.
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