Pentagon announces weapons sale to Taipei could include F-16 munitions
The Department of Defense's Defense Security Cooperation Agency says that the potential sale of weapons to Taiwan has been approved despite tensions with China.
Preliminary approval for a $619 million sale of F-16 munitions and related equipment to Taiwan has been granted, on Wednesday, by the US State Department according to Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
In a statement, the DSCA announced that "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 of F-16 Munitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $619 million."
Moreover, the statement noted that the DSCA has "delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today."
The statement revealed that Taiwan's representative office in the US requested the procurement of 100 AGM-88B High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM), 23 HARM training missiles, 200 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM). Additionally, four AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM Guidance Sections and 26 LAU-129 multi-purpose launchers were requested.
"The proposed sale will contribute to the recipient’s capability to provide for the defense of its airspace, regional security, and interoperability with the United States. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces," DSCA said, and then claimed that "the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region."
The primary contractor for the announced sale would be Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin, Pentagon stated.
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China sanctions Lockheed Martin, Raytheon over weapons sales to Taiwan
China's Commerce Ministry, on February 16, said it put Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX.N) onto an "unreliable enterprises list" over arms sales to Taiwan.
The laws forbid Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missile and Defense Corporation, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, from "participating in import and export activities connected to China," as per a statement from the Ministry.
China sanctioned the two companies in February of last year for a $100 million arms sale to Taiwan.
At the time, China's Foreign Ministry stated that the sale "undermined China's security interests, seriously undermined China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."
As the war continues in #Ukraine with no signs of ending anytime soon, someone is profiting significantly from it: the #US arms companies fueling the war since day 1.#UkraineRussiaWar pic.twitter.com/IW4790jg8b— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) February 28, 2023
Beijing has repeatedly urged the US to stop selling armaments to Taiwan and cut its military ties with the island. However, the US approved a potential $180 million arms sale to Taiwan in December amid ongoing tensions between the island and Beijing.
This comes less than a week after the US Commerce Department said it added to an export blacklist five Chinese firms and one research institute allegedly linked to Beijing's aerospace programs, including airships and balloons.
The companies include Dongguan Lingkong Remote Sensing Technology Co., Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology Co, and China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute, AFP reported.
The other three are Guangzhou Tian-Hai-Xiang Aviation Technology Co., Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co., and Shanxi Eagles Men Aviation Science and Technology Group Co.
Read more: China says US 'endangered' peace in Taiwan strait after overflight