The United States will supply Taiwan with 400 mobile land-launched anti-ship Harpoon missiles worth $1.17bln to repel a potential Chinese invasion at sea, US media reported, citing the president of the US-Taiwan Business Council and people in the know.
On April 7, the US Navy awarded The Boing Co. $1.17 billion to supply 400 Harpoon missiles and related support equipment to an unnamed recipient with nearly $630 million reserved for Foreign Military Sales, according to the Defense Department.
The contract is set to become the first sale of the mobile, land-launched version of Harpoon to Taiwan, according to Council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers, while the people in the know confirmed the sale is for Taipei, the report said on Monday.
The award of the contract will complete the $2.37 billion sale of 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS), 400 Harpoon Block II Surface Launched Missiles, and 25 radar trucks that were approved by the US State Department in October 2020. In March 2022, the Navy awarded the contract for the 100 launchers and 25 radars and not for the missiles.
Thus, it took the Department of Defense nearly two and a half years to award a contract for the production and delivery of Harpoon missiles for Taiwan, while the total amount of Taiwan’s weapons backlog is nearly $19 billion.
Earlier in April, US media reported that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is considering more than 80 internal recommendations from a team tasked with speeding up the Pentagon’s foreign military sales process, with Taiwan’s weapons backlog being one of the primary reasons for the reform.