The US State Department has approved a potential sale of an estimated $1.1 billion worth of missiles and radar systems to Taiwan, notifying Congress on the potential sales on Friday.
The approved sales include 60 AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II missiles for an estimated $355 million, as well as a 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical missiles for $85.6 million.
The most valuable of the three sales is the $665.4 million ticket for the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP). SRP is an early warning radar system already in service in Taiwan. It enables the Taiwan air force to detect and track long- and short-range tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and other air breathing targets.
Taiwan is already an operator of the Sidewinder air-to-air missile, while Boeing is already working on the delivery of Harpoon coastal defense system launchers (HCDS) to Taiwan.
The State Department announced the sale following tensions in the region after China held multiple maneuvers around Taiwan that have been widely interpreted as China’s response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan early August.
China has already reacted to the announced potential sale, with Chinese spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington Liu Pengyu saying Beijing would respond.
“It sends wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and severely jeopardizes China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.