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Taiwan defense minister worries about impact of Harpoon deliveries to Ukraine

Minister concerned whether timetable for deliveries to Taiwan will be affected

The firing of a Harpoon missile during military drills. 

The firing of a Harpoon missile during military drills.  (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said Thursday (May 26) he is worried that a decision by the United States to supply coastal-based Harpoon missile systems to Ukraine might delay deliveries of the weapon to Taiwan.

Earlier this month, the military confirmed reports that M109A6 Paladin howitzers from the U.S. would not start arriving until 2026, due to an excess of orders. Taiwan had expected eight Paladins next year, and 16 each in 2024 and 2025.

Lawmakers expressed concern Thursday that similar problems might delay the delivery of a US$2.37 billion (NT$69.9 billion) Harpoon package to Taiwan scheduled for 2028 at the latest, CNA reported. The deal covers 100 launchers, 404 missiles, radar trucks, and associated equipment.

Chiu admitted the delivery of Harpoons to Ukraine has not yet impacted Taiwan. However, he would monitor developments as he was also concerned that supplies to other countries would lead to cutbacks in deliveries to Taiwan.

It is Taiwan’s right to demand the U.S. conduct arms deals according to the agreed timetable and quantities agreed upon, the minister said. He added that sudden developments should not affect agreements already in progress.