Asia

US approves US$620m missile upgrade package for Taiwan

TAIPEI: The United States has approved a possible US$620 million upgrade package for Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Taiwan, the State Department said, the latest purchase from the United States to deal with a rising threat from China.

The United States, like most countries, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to provide the democratic island with the means to defend itself.

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China, which claims the democratically-ruled island as its own territory, routinely denounces US arms sales to Taiwan.

Taiwan has requested to buy components to upgrade its Patriot missiles "in order to support an operational life of 30 years", the State Department said on Thursday (Jul 9).

Lockheed Martin will be the main contractor and the total estimated cost will be $620 million, it added.

READ: US State Department okays possible US$23b sale of F-35s to Japan

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"This proposed sale serves US national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient's continuing efforts to modernise its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability," it said.

"The recipient will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defence. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces."

Taiwan's Defence Ministry said it expected the sale to take effect within the next month.

"This arms sale is the seventh by the Trump administration to Taiwan so far, fully demonstrating the importance attached to our national defence security, consolidatRead More – Source