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US approves HARM, AMRAAM missile sales for Taiwan, Australia

Illustration: US Navy photo of an AARGM-ER launching from an F/A-18 Super Hornet

The US State Department has approved potential sale of missiles to Taiwan and Australia totaling over $1 billion.

In two separate decisions, the State Department approved Taiwan to buy 100 AGM-88B High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM), 200 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), as well as training missiles and launchers.

Taiwan would employ the missiles and launchers, which would come with an estimated price tag of $619 million, on its F-16 fighter jets.

“This proposed sale serves US national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

Should a definitive contract be signed, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon would be delivering the missiles to Taiwan.

New AARGM-ER missiles for Australia

Australia has requested to buy Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles-Extended Range (AARGM-ERs), which currently being tested by the US Navy and expected to achieve an initial operational capability in fiscal year 2023.

The US State Department approved the sale of 60 of these Northrop Grumman-developed missiles for around $506 million. With a potential purchase, Australia would become the first export customer for the missile.

AARGM-ER leverages existing AARGM sensors, electronics and digital models with the addition of a new high-performance air vehicle, solid rocket motor and advanced warhead to provide vital counter-air-defense capability for the US military.

AARGM-ER is being integrated on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as the F-35 aircraft in service with three branches of the US military. All three aircraft types are also in service in Australia.