WASHINGTON: The State Department cleared Taiwan today to purchase an estimated $750 million in howitzers and associated equipment — the first major Foreign Military Sales case to Taiwan approved by the Biden administration.
State also ok’d the sale of RAM Block 2 Tactical Missiles and follow-on technical support for Aegis class destroyers for Japan, which would combine for a potential price tag of $195.5 million.
The deals, posted on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s website, are not final. FMS cases announced like these have been approved by the executive branch and now Congress must weigh in or do nothing; should the Hill not object, the quantities and dollar values in the deals can change during negotiations with industry.
The headliner of the three sales announced is the Taiwan package, which technically is an agreement between the US and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, or TECRO. The deal would cover 40 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems, along with “20 M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles, an Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, five M88A2 Hercules vehicles, five M2 Chrysler Mount .50 caliber machine guns” and associated equipment.
“This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region,” the DSCA announcement reads. “This proposed sale of M109A6 SPH will contribute to the modernization of the recipient’s self-propelled howitzer fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats.”
While this is the first Taiwan deal of the Biden administration, it’s not the biggest deal for TECRO in the last calendar year. The Trump administration pushed out six FMS packages for Taiwan between Oct. and Dec. of 2020, including a $2.37 billion deal for Harpoon coastal defense systems.
Overall, the Trump administration cleared 20 FMS cases for Taiwan, with an estimated cumulative price tag of almost $18.3 billion.
State Clears Biden Admin’s First Major Taiwan Arms Sale – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense is written by Aaron Mehta for breakingdefense.com