What arms is Taiwan actually getting for its US$1.4 billion?

US Defence Security Cooperation Agency releases detailed list of the weapons and support services included in the highly controversial deal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 10:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2017, 1:03am

The United States’ decision to sell US$1.4 billion worth of arms to Taiwan infuriated China. Beijing said the agreement violated a consensus reached between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at their meeting in Florida in April. But what exactly does it comprise?

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Below is a list released by the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency of the weapons – all of which will be provided by US defence contractor Raytheon – and related services involved.

1. 50 AGM-88B HARMs and 10 AGM-88B Training HARMs

High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMS) are air-to-surface missiles that have been in use since 1985. They have the capability to detect and destroy radar and other electronic equipment on the ground or on ships.

Total estimated cost of programme = US$147.5 million, including missiles, launchers, containers, parts, support, logistics and training.

2. 16 Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA All-Up Rounds, 47 MK93 Mod 1 SM-2 Block IIIA Guidance Sections, and five MK45 Mod 14 SM-2 Block IIIA Target Detecting Devices/Shrouds

The SM-2 series is a ship-based surface-to-air missile with a range of 74-167km. Currently operated with the Aegis Combat System on US guided-missile destroyers and cruisers, the missiles can also be used against other ships. Taiwan has previously purchased SM-2 and its predecessor SM-1 missiles. An upgraded version – the SM-6 – is used by the US navy.

Total estimated cost of programme = US$125 million, including battery units, containers and support services.

3. 46 MK48 Mod 6AT heavyweight torpedoes

The MK48 is a submarine-launched torpedo for use against surface ships. It is wire-guided but also has sensors to locate its target, and is capable of a U-return and second attack in case of an initial miss.

Total estimated cost of programme = US$250 million.

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4. MK54 lightweight torpedo conversion kits

The MK54 is an anti-submarine torpedo that can be deployed from a surface ship, helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft. The Chinese mainland’s military uses a Yu-7 torpedo that is believed to have been developed from the MK46. The conversion kits will be used to upgrade 168 older type MK46 torpedoes – currently in use by Taiwan’s navy – to the MK54 version.

Total estimated cost of programme = US$175 million.

5. 56 AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapons

These air-to-ground guided missiles can be carried by F16 fighter jets – which Taiwan has had since the 1990s – and launched beyond visual range and outside the range of air defence systems.

Total cost of programme = US$185.5 million, including parts, support and training.

6. AN/SLQ-32(V)3 Electronic Warfare System upgrades for four ex-Kidd Class destroyers

The upgrades will improve the electronic systems – in terms of early warning and electronic interference – of Taiwan’s 7,000-tonne Kidd destroyers. The four ships were retired from the US navy in the 1990s and sold to Taiwan to serve as the Keelung class.

Total estimated cost of programme = US$80 million.

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7. Surveillance Radar Project operations and maintenance

A package to provide ongoing maintenance and support services for equipment purchased earlier.

Total estimated cost of programme = US$400 million.