WASHINGTON, Apr 20 (Reuters) Taiwan has bought a 9.3 million dollars radar upgrade for its US-built F-16 fighter aircraft, the company doing the work said today, as President Hu Jintao of China arrived at the White House.
The upgrade will boost pilots' ability to detect a range of incoming radar signals and react to them, BAE Systems said in a news release.
The contract was awarded under a US government- to-government sales program. The work is to be done at BAE Systems' Greenlawn, New York, facility through 2008.
The company did not return a call seeking comment on the timing of its statement, sent minutes after Hu received a 21-gun salute at the White House.
Since winning a civil war in 1949, the communist authorities in Beijing have viewed self-governing Taiwan as a breakaway province that must be united with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the United States is committed to help Taiwan defend itself.
REUTERS KD KP2242