The sale of FX aircraft to Taiwan
The Reagan Administration on January 11, 1982, announced its decision to deny the Nationalist Government of China's request for aircraft superior to the F-5E Tiger. Instead, the United States granted permission to the Northrop Corporation to extend its ten-year agreement with Taiwan beyond 1983 for continued coproduction of the F-5E. The U.S. government chose among four options of approving for sale the F-5G, the F-16/J79, more F-5E planes, or no aircraft. This paper studies several factors which were probably considered in making the decision: the defense needs of Taiwan in relation to combat performance and costs of the two FX aircraft under consideration, and the importance of China's response to the decision.