US approves ground and air-launched precision missile package to Taiwan

Lockheed Martin ATACMS
Lockheed Martin ATACMS

The US Department of State has approved several requests by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) for stand-off air- and ground-launched precision missiles to Taiwan worth up to US$1.8 billion under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mechanism, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

In the first of three notifications released by DSCA on 21 October, the agency revealed that TECRO had requested the sale of 11 Lockheed Martin M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, 64 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) M57 unitary missiles, 54 M28A2 Low Cost Reduced Range Practice Rocket Pods (LCRRPRs), 11 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) M1084A2 resupply vehicles, two FMTV M1089A2 cargo wrecker resupply vehicles, and 11 FMTV M1095 5-tonne cargo trailers.

Other equipment requested under this package include seven M1152Al Humvees, 11 M240B 7.62 mm machine guns, 11 M2A1 12.7 mm heavy machine guns, and 17 International Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (IFATDSs), 22 AN/NRC-92E dual radio systems, seven AN/NRC-92E dual radio ground stations, 15 AN/VRC-90E single radio systems, as well as associated communications, training, and logistics support.

DSCA revealed in its second notification that that TECRO had requested the sale of 135 Boeing AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) air-launched cruise missiles and associated equipment at an estimated cost of USD1 billion. This proposed deal also includes four ATM-84H SLAM-ER telemetry missiles, 12 CATM-84H captive air training missiles, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, as well as associated training and logistics support.

The AGM-84H cruise missiles, which are believed to have a range of around 270 kilometres, are expected to be carried by the Republic of China Air Force’s (RoCAF’s) F-16V fighter aircraft.

In its third notification the DSCA stated that TECRO had requested the sale of six Collins Aerospace MS-110 reconnaissance pods and ancillary documentation, equipment, and logistics support for approximately USD367.2 million. Likewise, these pods are expected to be fitted on the RoCAF’s F-16V fighters.

The US-made standoff missiles will complement Taiwan’s existing arsenal of indigenously developed long-range strike weapons such as the Hsiung-Feng (Brave Wind) family of ground and naval missile systems and the Wan Chien (Ten Thousand Swords) air-launched cruise missile.

by Jr Ng