WASHINGTON: The State Department today authorized Taiwan to purchase around $ 750 million of howitzers and related equipment – the first major case of a foreign military sale to Taiwan approved by the Biden administration.
The state also approved the sale of RAM Block 2 tactical missiles and follow-up technical support for Aegis-class destroyers for Japan, which would combine for a potential price tag of $ 195.5 million.
The agreements, posted on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency website, are not final. FMS cases announced like these have been approved by the executive branch and now Congress must weigh or do nothing; if the Hill is not opposed, the quantities and dollar values ââof the agreements may change during negotiations with industry.
The headliner of the three announced sales is the Taiwan package, which is technically an agreement between the United States and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representation Office in the United States, or TECRO. The agreement would cover 40 M109A6 155mm medium self-propelled howitzer systems, as well as “20 M992A2 field artillery ammunition support vehicles, one advanced field artillery tactical data system, five M88A2 Hercules vehicles, five Chrysler Mount .50 âM2 caliber machine guns and associated equipment.
âThis proposed sale serves the national, economic and security interests of the United States by supporting the recipient’s continued efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and maintain political stability, military, economic balance and progress in the region, âthe DSCA announcement said. “This proposed sale of the M109A6 SPH will contribute to the modernization of the recipient’s self-propelled howitzer fleet, improving its ability to deal with current and future threats.”
It is almost certain that China will sharply criticize the deal, both Taiwan for the purchases and the American companies that would actually sell the weapons. In this case, it would be mainly BAE Systems.
While this is the Biden administration’s first Taiwanese deal, it is not the biggest deal for TECRO in the past calendar year. The Trump administration released six FMS packages for Taiwan between October and December 2020, including a $ 2.37 billion deal for Harpoon coastal defense systems.
Overall, the Trump administration has settled 20 FMS cases for Taiwan, with an estimated cumulative price tag of nearly $ 18.3 billion.