The Taiwanese Air Force’s plan to purchase new F-16C/D fighters may soon get examined by US officials, as part of an arms package that was originally put forward in 2001.

The long-standing request for 66 new F-16C/Ds worth $1.3bn would be examined by the US administration as the US is legally obligated to help Taiwan defend itself, flightglobal reports.

Taiwan defence minister Chen Chao Min said that the US had not asked Taiwan to choose between upgrades to its existing F-16A/Bs and new F-16C/Ds and the requests for mid-life upgrades for the F-16A/Bs and the new fighters were proceeding simultaneously.

The Taiwan Government also hopes that the US would enable it to buy 60 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters by the end of 2009, flightglobal reports.