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US announces second arms sale to Taiwan in a week

US State Department approves sale of 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems to Taiwan

A Harpoon missile firing.

A Harpoon missile firing. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. government announced on Monday (Oct. 26) the potential sale of Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Taiwan, marking the second time in a week that Washington has announced arms sale to the country.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) stated in a press release that the State Department has agreed to sell Taiwan 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS) and that Congress has been formally notified of the sale. The arms deal includes up to 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface Launched Missiles, four RTM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Exercise Missiles, 100 HCDS launcher transporter units, 25 radar trucks, and additional logistical and technical equipment and support for a total of US$2.37 billion.

According to the DSCA, the HCDS allows Taiwan to “employ a highly reliable and effective system to counter or deter maritime aggressions, coastal blockades, and amphibious assaults.” It added that the new missile system’s capabilities will “easily integrate into existing force infrastructure” and that Taiwan will have “no difficulty absorbing these systems into its armed forces.”

Following the DSCA’s announcement, Taiwanese Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) expressed thanks to the U.S. for the defensive weapons. He stated that the U.S. government has once again fulfilled its security commitments in line with the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances with concrete actions and that the country has demonstrated the importance it attaches to helping Taiwan strengthen its defense capabilities.

This latest sale comes as the Chinese government imposes sanctions against “ill-intended” companies, including Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Defense, and Collins Aerospace, and other American entities and individuals involved in the arms deal revealed last week.

On Oct. 21, the DSCA announced the potential sale of 11 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 135 Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), and six MS-110 Recce Pods for Taiwan's fleet of F-16 jets. These three systems are reportedly part of a larger package of seven systems worth US$7 billion.

The DSCA has yet to officially announce the sale of General Atomics MQ-9 drones which was approved by the U.S. State Department on Oct. 14