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US State Department approves potential sale of missiles to Taiwan

Possible deal includes 100 HARM and 200 AIM-120C-8 missiles

HARM missile.

HARM missile. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. State Department has approved a potential sale of 100 AGM-88B High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) and 200 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM).

The sale will also include 23 HARM training missiles, four AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM Guidance Sections, 26 LAU-129 multi-purpose launchers, other relevant equipment, and technical and logistical support, the U.S. Defense and Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a press release. The possible deal will cost a total of US$619 million (NT$19 billion).

The DSCA said the proposed sale “serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.” It added that the potential sale will help bolster Taiwan’s security and aid in “maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.”

The proposed sale will also boost Taiwan’s air defense capabilities and its ability to maintain regional security and interoperability with the U.S., DSCA said. It pointed out that the additional HARM and AIM-120C8 missiles would not affect the military balance in the region.

The main contractors will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, based in Tucson, Arizona, and Lockheed Martin Corporation in Bethesda, Maryland.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) thanked the U.S. government for remaining steadfast in its commitments in the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances. MOFA pointed out that this is the first potential U.S. arms sale in 2023 and the ninth announced sale under the Biden administration.

In the face of China's continuous military expansion and provocative behavior, Taiwan will continue to strengthen its defense capabilities and simultaneously deepen its close security partnership with the U.S., MOFA said. Taiwan will also help defend the international rules-based order to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait and Indo-Pacific region.

Taiwan already has received the 50 AGM-88 HARM missiles it previously bought in 2017, according to the defense ministry’s wartime regulations bureau chief, Lee Shi-chiang (李世強).