The US State Department announced on October 21 it approved an estimated $1.8 billion of possible arms sales to Taiwan.
The price tag, which is subject to change should the deal be realized, includes eleven High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems M142 launchers, 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles, and MS-110 long-range reconnaissance pods.
The $436.1 million HIMARS sale includes M1152Al high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) M240B machine guns, dual radio ground stations and other related equipment.
According to a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency statement, the recipient will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense. The prime contractor would be Lockheed Martin.
The $367.2 million MS-110 long-range reconnaissance pod sale would see Collins Aerospace six MS-110 recce pods for Taiwan’s F-16 fleet, including three transportable ground stations, one fixed ground station and other equipment.
Taiwan has also requested to buy AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles in the costliest of the three purchase packages. For an estimated $1.008 billion, the country would get 135 AGM-84H SLAM-ER missiles, four telemetry missiles, and twelve training missiles in addition to supporting equipment from Boeing.
Earlier this year, the State Department approved sales of 18 MK-48 Mod6 heavy weight torpedoes to Taiwan and an upgrade package for Taiwan’s Patriot missile systems. The country also has an additional 66 F-16 fighter aircraft on order from Lockheed Martin.
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.