WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The US State Department has approved the potential sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan including sensors, missiles and artillery that could have a total value of US$1.8 billion (S$2.5 billion), the Pentagon said on Wednesday (Oct 21).
Reuters reported last week that the White House was moving forward with five separate sales of sophisticated military equipment to Taiwan with a total value of around US$5 billion.
Among other weapons systems, Wednesday’s formal notifications to Congress were for 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp called a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (Himars), for an estimated cost of US$436.1 million.
The notifications also covered 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles and related equipment made by Boeing, for an estimated US$1.008 billion, and six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets, at an estimated cost of US$367.2 million.
Reuters reported in September that major weapons systems sales were making their way through the US export process, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China and concerns rise about Beijing’s intentions towards Taiwan.
Beijing considers the island a wayward province that it has vowed to reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary.