U.S. Picks Taiwan for First Armed Drones Sale Under Eased Rules

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. will sell Taiwan armed Reaper drones in a $600 million deal that will likely further anger China and help lock in a shift in American military support for Taipei during the next presidential administration.



a fighter jet sitting on top of a runway: A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone, manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc, stands on display during the Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Planemakers and airlines are exploring new designs to reduce fuel burn and cut carbon emissions in a warming climate. Blending the wings with the fuselage to cut drag is one of several possible solutions.


© Bloomberg
A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone, manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc, stands on display during the Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Planemakers and airlines are exploring new designs to reduce fuel burn and cut carbon emissions in a warming climate. Blending the wings with the fuselage to cut drag is one of several possible solutions.

The State Department on Tuesday approved the proposed sale of the four weapons-ready MQ-9B drones from General Atomics — capable of carrying laser and GPS-guided munitions — along with radar, sensors and ground control stations for flying the aircraft.

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Trump administration approves $600M drone sale to Taiwan

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.



a red white and blue flag: Trump administration approves $600M drone sale to Taiwan


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Trump administration approves $600M drone sale to Taiwan

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.

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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

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US Announces Planned $2.37 Billion Weapon Sale to Taiwan | Political News

By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Monday notified Congress of plans for a $2.37 billion sale of Harpoon missile systems to Taiwan just hours after Beijing announced sanctions on U.S. defense contractors, including Boeing, the lead contractor on the Harpoon deal.

“The United States maintains an abiding interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and considers the security of Taiwan central to the security and stability of the broader Indo-Pacific region,” the State Department said. It said the sale would not alter the military balance in the region.

Harpoon missiles are capable of striking ships and land targets. Boeing says the missile uses GPS-aided inertial navigation and delivers a 500-pound blast warhead. It can target coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, ships in port, and port and industrial facilities.

Earlier Monday, China said it was imposing sanctions on

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Potential arms sale to Taiwan could put China’s east coast in the crosshairs

MELBOURNE, Australia — The U.S. State Department’s approval of the potential sales of air- and ground-launched, long-range land-attack missiles is a marked departure from previous American policy of only selling so-called defensive weapons to Taiwan.

This broadens the options for the self-governing island to mount not only a ground-based counterstrike in the event of Chinese ballistic missile attack on Taiwan, but would also enable it to disrupt a potential Chinese invasion by striking ports, air bases and other military targets across the Taiwan Strait.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday that the State Department approved three separate arms packages to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Sales program.

The potential $1.8 billion deal is for 135 Boeing AGM-84H SLAM-ER missiles; 11 Lockheed Martin M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems; and six sets of Collins Aerospace’s MS-110 multispectral long-range oblique photography pods.

The DSCA notification did not identify the aircraft

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China threatens retaliation over US arms sale to Taiwan

China is threatening to retaliate against the U.S. after the Trump administration approved a $1.8 billion arms sale to Taiwan, the autonomous island that Beijing considers its own territory. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused the U.S. of “interfering” in Beijing’s affairs and said the sale could lead to regional insecurity.

“It seriously interferes in China’s internal affairs, seriously harms China’s sovereignty and security interests, sends out gravely wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces and severely undermines China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China firmly opposes it,” Zhao said Thursday.

Zhao urged the U.S. to “stop arms sales to and military ties with the Taiwan region, cancel its arms sales plans to avoid further harming China-US relations and cross-strait peace and stability,” warning that “China will make a legitimate and necessary reaction in the light of the development of the situation.” 

The rebuke comes after

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US approves $1.8bn in potential arms sales to Taiwan | Taiwan

The US Department of State has approved the potential sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles and artillery that could have a total value of $1.8bn, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, amid rising tension over the self-ruled island that China claims as its own.

Among other weapons systems, Wednesday’s formal notifications to Congress by the State Department were for 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp called a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), at an estimated cost of $436.1m.

The notifications also covered 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles and related equipment made by Boeing, for an estimated $1.008bn, and six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets, at an estimated cost of $367.2m.

A pilot of an F-16 fighter jet attends a military drill at Zhi-Hang Air Base in Taitung, Taiwan [File: Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

Further

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Taiwan says not seeking arms race with China after new U.S. arms sale

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan is not seeking to get involved in an arms race with China but does need a credible combat capability, Defence Minister Yen De-fa said on Thursday, after the United States approved a potential $1.8 billion arms sale to the Chinese-claimed island.

Beijing has applied increasing pressure om democratically-ruled Taiwan to accept China’s sovereignty, including by flying fighter jets across the sensitive mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, which normally serves as an unofficial buffer.

The latest U.S. arms package includes sensors, missiles and artillery, and further congressional notifications are expected for drones made by General Atomics and land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, made by Boeing Co, to serve as coastal defence cruise missiles.

Speaking to reporters, Yen thanked the United States and said the sales were to help Taiwan improve their defensive capabilities to deal with the “enemy threat and new situation”.

“This includes a credible combat capability

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State Department greenlights $1.8B weapons sale to Taiwan

The Trump administration has approved a sale of nearly $2 billion in weapons to Taiwan.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on Wednesday that the State Department gave the OK for the possible sale of 135 Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response missiles worth more than $1 billion, 11 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems M142 launchers for roughly $436 million, and six MS-110 reconnaissance pods for about $367 million dollars.

“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 Defense Security Cooperation Agency wrote. “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.”

A State Department spokesman told the Washington Examiner that “consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States makes available

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Trump administration gives notice to Congress on three planned arms sales to Taiwan

The Trump administration has alerted Congress of its intent to move forward with three advanced weapons sales to Taiwan, a congressional aide and a source familiar told CNN Monday.



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The move comes as the administration seeks to bolster ties with Taipei amid escalating tensions with Beijing. The sales are likely to further inflame those tensions.

According to the sources, the administration provided informal notification over the weekend of the proposed sales of High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — a long-range rocket artillery system that can strike targets up to 190 miles away — Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response — cruise missiles that are fired from aircraft and are designed to strike ground targets — and external sensor pods for F-16 jets.

The informal notification process is a common practice in which the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee get a heads up

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