The US State Department has approved Taiwan for an upgrade and sustainment package for its Patriot missile defense system.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the sale, which will include what is known as the Patriot International Engineering Services Program (IESP) and Field Surveillance Program (FSP).
The five-year program would include engineering services support, designed to sustain, maintain, and improve the Patriot system for an estimated cost of $100 million.
Should a definitive deal be concluded, Taiwan would sing up for a process to investigate and address identified problems, conduct missile field surveillance support for legacy (Guidance Enhanced Missile (GEM)) and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles.
The US State Department noted that participation in the shared IESP and FSP for the life of the Patriot system is a requirement of the US government.
Main contractors under the program would be Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin.
“The proposed sale will help to sustain the recipient’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,” a statement from the DSCA said.
Taiwan is looking to sign up for the support and sustainment program after deciding to buy newer Patriot missiles in 2019.
In July 2020, the State Department cleared Taiwan for an estimated $620 million worth of repair and update works on PAC-3 missiles that included their recertification and replacement of expiring limited life components.
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.