The Trump administration has approved selling Taiwan up to four advanced surveillance drones worth an estimated $600 million, according to a formal notice sent to Congress on Tuesday.
Selling Taipei the General Atomics-made MQ-9 SeaGuardian drones and associated equipment and training will “counter threats to Taiwan by improving Taiwan’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities,” a State Department official said.
The approval is the first one for a drone sale since the Trump administration loosened the U.S. rules for drone exports in July.
“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 notice to Congress said. “The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress