Thursday, September 23, 2021

US To Arm Taiwan With GPS-Enabled Howitzers, Japan With AEGIS System To Deter ‘Belligerent’ China

The US State Department has approved a possible $750 million arms sale of artillery systems to Taiwan, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

“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 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer System and related equipment for an estimated cost of $750 million,” DSCA said on Wednesday.

Marines M777 Howitzer Artillery - Free photo on Pixabay
Marines M777 Howitzer Artillery – Pixabay

TECRO, the diplomatic entity representing Taiwan, requested to buy 40 of the systems alongside 20 ammunition support vehicles, five armored recovery vehicles, five heavy machine guns, and 1,698 Precision Guidance Kits that increase the accuracy of the 155mm howitzer rounds using GPS technology.

The State Department found that the proposed sale is consistent with US law, and would have no adverse impact on US defense readiness. The sale would serve US interests by modernizing the Taiwanese armed forces and maintaining the political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region, DSCA added.

China has repeatedly objected to US arms sales to Taiwan. Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan maintains that it is an autonomous country and has political and economic relations with several other nations.

The US Arms Japan

The Biden administration has also approved two missiles–related arms sales to Japan worth a combined $195 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on Wednesday.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of AEGIS Class Destroyer Support and related equipment for an estimated cost of $134 million,” the DSCA said in a press release.

Aegis Combat System - Wikipedia
Aegis Combat System – Wikipedia

The Department of State has also approved the possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan of RAM Block 2 Tactical Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $61.5 million, the DSCA said. The agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Wednesday, it said.

“The Government of Japan has requested to buy up to 44 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) Block 2 Tactical Missiles, RIM-116C. Also included are RAM Block 2 Guidance Control Groups …and storage containers,” the DSCA said. The total estimated program cost was $61.5 million, the agency said.

The AEGIS support systems sale will involve Follow-On Technical Support (FOTS) of AEGIS Class Destroyers, to include sustainment support and services, AEGIS computer software updates and system integration and its principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin of Moorestown, New Jersey, the release said.

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