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Taiwan’s Cabinet tells military to adjust defense budget for new helicopters | Taiwan News

U.S. MH-60R Seahawk. (U.S. Navy photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Cabinet comptroller Tsu Tse-min (朱澤民) on Tuesday (Aug. 24) said that the government has approved the 2022 national defense budget and that any purchase of Seahawk anti-submarine helicopters will depend on the military’s own adjustments and accommodations to the budget.


Before the Cabinet finalizes next year’s general budget for the central government on Thursday (Aug. 26), the military is seeking to add anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters as a last-minute item.


Tsu said that the government has already approved next year’s national defense expenditure, which includes military procurements. He added that he does not recall whether the military’s purchases included MH-60R Seahawk helicopters but said the government would not make budget decisions based on military procurements alone, the Liberty Times reported.


Tsu also said that the Ministry of National Defense would have to make budgetary adjustments in order to purchase the Seahawks. The total defense budget for 2022 is estimated to be NT$372.6 billion (US$13.34 billion), a 3% increase from this year, the Liberty Times cited military sources as saying.


The Navy currently uses two types of helicopters to counter enemy submarines: the MD 500 and the S-70C. However, they are already very old and outdated. If the military ends up successfully acquiring new ASW helicopters, they will replace the MD 500s, per the Liberty Times.


The military had originally planned to purchase new ASW rotorcraft and decided to go with the Seahawks as early as 2014, but these were never bought due to other new military purchases.

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