In a major escalation in the South China Sea, the US State Department has approved a potential arms sales to Taiwan worth over $2 billion, the agency said in a press release on 26th October.
The U.S. State Department approved the sale of a hundred Harpoon coastal defence systems (HCDS) in wake of increasing invasion threats from China. The deal’s cost is estimated to be $2.37 billion.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of up to one hundred (100) Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.37 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” announced the agency on Monday.
The sale includes “up to one hundred (100) Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS) consisting of up to four hundred (400) RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface Launched Missiles; and four (4) RTM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Exercise Missiles. Also included are four hundred and eleven (411) containers, one hundred (100) Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launcher Transporter Units, twenty-five (25) radar trucks, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.”
The contract shall be awarded to The Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO, which is the primary manufacturer of the missile system.
Coastal defence systems allow a nation to deter enemy maritime aggressions, coastal blockades, and amphibious assaults- and falls exactly in line with what the PLA has been trying to do in its invasion drills.
The RGM-84 Harpoon Missile
The Harpoon is a subsonic, highly versatile, all-weather anti-ship missile manufactured by Boeing. It is the standard surface-to-surface missile in service with the U.S. Armed Forces and has been exported to American allies around the world including India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE, Singapore, and the NATO countries.
The missile carries a 220 kg conventional warhead having a range of around 300 kilometers, and can be launched by air, surface, or by submarine-based platforms.