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US approves USD1.1 billion deal for Taiwan

Taiwan's AN/FPS-115 early warning radar, similar to the US-based AN/FPS-132 radar pictured above, is expected to be modified through a new FMS deal announced by the US DSCA. (United States Air Force)

The US State Department has approved the USD1.1 billion sale of missiles and radar-support services to Taiwan. The Foreign Military Sale (FMS), if approved by Congress, will be the fifth and largest for the island under US President Joe Biden's administration.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on 2 September that the sale includes 100 Raytheon AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missiles, 60 Boeing AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II missiles, and support for Taiwan's surveillance radar programme.

The Harpoon contract – valued at USD355 million – includes four exercise missiles, radar seekers, and support equipment. The Sidewinder deal is valued at USD85.6 million and includes four AIM-9X Block II tactical guidance units, spare parts, and support equipment.

The missiles – additions to Taiwan's existing stocks of AIM-9X and Harpoon systems – are expected to be fitted to Taiwan's Lockheed Martin F-16V Block 20 fighter aircraft, which entered service with the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) in late 2021.

Technical and logistical support for Taiwan's surveillance radars is valued at USD665.4 million. The deal, which the DSCA said will enhance Taiwan's “threat warning” capabilities, includes modifications, spare parts, and engineering services. The deal is provided through Taiwan's Surveillance Radar Program (SRP), which was initiated in 2004.

The DSCA provided no other details about the radar programme.

However, the SRP is focused on supporting the Raytheon AN/FPS-115 Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS), which became operational in 2013 from the Leshan radar station in northern Taiwan.

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