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US approves Taiwan’s Patriot missile system overhaul

PAC-3 MSE advanced missile defense system
Illustration; Photo: US Army

The US State Department has approved an estimated $620 million worth of repair and update works on Taiwan’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles.

The July 9 approval comes after the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) requested to buy recertification of PAC-3 missiles, including the replacement of expiring limited life components (LLCs) and other related items.

According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the proposed sale would help sustain Taiwan’s missile density and ensure readiness for air operations. “The recipient will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense,” the agency said.

The prime contractor would be Lockheed Martin.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said the actual contract could be concluded by the next month, adding that this would be the seventh arms sale to Taiwan by the Trump administration.

The US, like the majority of countries, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which China considers one of its break-away provinces. However, the US is bound by law to provide the island with defense articles for self protection.