An official from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on 19 April that Taipei is still keen on acquiring AGM-158-series Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSMs) from the United States.
Li Shih-Chiang, director of the MND’s Department of Strategic Planning, was quoted by the Taiwan News website as saying during a session of the Judiciary and Organic Laws’ parliamentary committee that a request for the sale of the land-attack cruise missile to Taiwan has not yet been approved by the administration of US President Joe Biden.
An AGM-158B JAASM-ER missile. A Taiwanese MND official said on 19 April that Taipei is still seeking to purchase AGM-158-series missiles from the US. (US Department of Defense)
The official emphasised that Taipei will continue to push for a deal on the precision stand-off weapon, adding that communication channels between Taiwan and the US are “open and normal”, according to the website.
Produced by Lockheed Martin, the AGM-158A JASSM has a maximum strike range of 200 n miles (370.4 km), while the AGM-158B JASSM-ER can hit targets at a maximum range of 500 n miles, according to Janes Weapons: Air-Launched. The weapon is designed to “destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets”, while keeping aircrews “well out of danger from hostile air-defence systems”, according to the manufacturer.
Speaking during the same committee meeting, Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said that the MND has received no official notification either on whether the US Department of State has approved the sale of M109A6 Paladin 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to Taiwan.
The latest developments come after Janes reported that Raytheon will be awarded a contract covering the transition to production of AGM-154C Block III Joint Standoff Weapons (JSOWs) for foreign customers that include Bahrain and Taiwan.