Taiwan no longer intends to purchase another long-range radar from the United States due to the high expense associated with installing the initial unit, Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday.
Though Taiwan bought its first early warning radar from U.S. defense firm Raytheon in 2003, the antimissile system is three years behind schedule and only now nearly finished. Once the radar is operational in the island's north, it should give Taiwan an additional six minutes' alert of any incoming Chinese missiles.
Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu "has said there won't be another one," an air force spokesman said to AFP of the now-aborted plans to purchase a second high-frequency radar for placement in southern Taiwan.
Taiwan has already spent $1.23 billion on the first radar and the Defense Ministry has allocated an additional estimated $136 million for the project.
"A large part of the increased payment is supposed to be used in further [research and development] and depot-level maintenance," Taiwanese lawmaker Lin Yu-fang said in provided remarks on Tuesday. "The Defense Ministry must stand tough in negotiating the price with the United States, otherwise it may become a pestering 'money pit.''
Taiwanese analysts project the Chinese army has in excess of 1,600 ballistic missiles targeting the island, which Beijing claims as its territory.
Meanwhile, Kao on Monday said Taipei would shortly receive back Patriot Advanced Capability 2 interceptors that were shipped to the United States four years ago for upkeep and enhancement, the Central News Agency summarized from a Liberty Times report.
"The U.S. agreed in June to deliver the upgraded missiles," the minister said on the margins of a legislative meeting.