Taiwan seeks to buy Harpoon coastal defense batteries from US

Systems could arrive in Taiwan as early as 2023 if sale approved

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US Navy fires a Harpoon missile during exercises near Puerto Rico 

US Navy fires a Harpoon missile during exercises near Puerto Rico  (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is seeking to purchase Harpoon coastal defense batteries from the United States, which would lead the military owning four types of anti-ship missiles, the Ministry of National Defense said Thursday (May 28).

Deputy Defense Minister Chang Che-ping (張哲平) confirmed the military's intentions to lawmakers at a committee meeting, CNA reported.

While Taiwan has already developed its own anti-ship missile, the Hsiung Feng II, the Harpoon's on-land launch units have superior mobility, defense officials said. If the U.S. approves the request, Taiwan's Navy could take delivery of the missile systems in 2023, according to Chang.

In that case, Taiwan's Harpoon arsenal would include the Air Force's fixed-wing AGM-84, the RGM-84 to be launched from surface ships, the UGM-84, which can be fired from submarine torpedo tubes, and the coastal defense batteries. The systems are developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security.