The State Department has made the official announcement late in the day Monday of US approval for up to 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems and related weapons equipment to be sold to Taiwan in a deal estimated at $2.37 billion.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of the intent to transfer, with the main contractor named as Boeing.
The Boeing-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles will serve as an early reaction coastal defense against enemy inbound cruise missiles as part of ongoing rapid modernization efforts to Taiwan’s military as it’s increasingly surrounded by threatening Chinese PLA exercises.
Earlier Beijing decided to impose sanctions on Boeing’s defense unit, Raytheon and (again) Lockheed, anticipating the just announced US approval, which is now official.
According to the official US government description the coastal defense systems will include the following:
- up to 400 hundred RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface Launched Missiles
- 4 RTM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Exercise Missiles.
- 411 containers
- 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense System Launcher Transporter Units
- 25 radar trucks, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment
Statement from a @StateDept official about the approval of today’s sale to #Taiwan of up to 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.37 billion. https://t.co/EWZIXm9k72 pic.twitter.com/4rGIQcwIVr
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 26, 2020
Later in the day the State Department said that if concluded “the proposed sale of this system will enhance Taiwan’s defensive capability” – this coming since especially last month US officials have been with increasing urgency imploring Taipei to ramp up its defense spending, which falls woefully short according to their estimates, based on the significant threat level from the mainland.
Emphasizing that it’s standing up for “peace” and “stability” in the region, but also clearly anticipating further Chinese wrath over violating the status quo, the US statement added that Washington “has consistently adhered to our One China policy as guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six assurances to Taiwan.”
However, there’s no way Beijing will at all see it that way, given that it’s repeatedly warned the US is fast upending this very thing.