US Approves $600M Sale of Four MQ-9B Unmanned Aircraft to Taiwan

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) – MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft

(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued Nov. 3, 2020)

WASHINGTON --- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of four (4) weapons-ready MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $600 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

TECRO has requested to buy:
-- four (4) weapons-ready MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft;
-- two (2) fixed ground control stations;
-- two (2) mobile ground control stations; and
-- fourteen (14) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (12 installed, 2 spares).

Also included are
-- MX-20 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems and spares;
-- SeaVue Maritime Multi-Role Patrol Radars;
-- SAGE 750 Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) Systems;
-- C-Band Line-of-Sight (LOS) Ground Data Terminals;
-- Ku-Band SATCOM GA-ASI Transportable Earth Stations (GATES);
-- AN/DPX-7 IFF Transponders;
-- Honeywell TPE-331-10GD Turboprop Engines;
-- M6000 UHF/VHF Radios;
-- KIV-77 Mode 5 IFF cryptographic appliques;
-- AN/PYQ-10C Simple Key Loaders;
-- secure communications, cryptographic and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment; -- initial spare and repair parts;
-- hard points, power, and data connections for weapons integration; support and test equipment;
-- publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment;
-- U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

The total estimated program cost is $600 million.

This proposed sale is consistent with U.S. law and policy as expressed in Public Law 96-8.

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 proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.

This proposed sale will improve the recipient’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing timely Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), target acquisition, and counter-land, counter-sea, and anti-submarine strike capabilities for its security and defense. The capability is a deterrent to regional threats and will strengthen the recipient’s self-defense. The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing these systems into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be General Atomic Aeronautical System, Inc., San Diego, CA. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the recipient.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law. The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.


US Approves $600 Million Sale of [Weapons-Ready] Drones to Taiwan

(Source: Deutsche Welle German Radio; issued Nov 4, 2020)

The US has agreed to sell four MQ-9 Reaper drones to Taiwan to boost its defenses amid increasing threats by China. The Trump administration has cleared arms packages worth $4.2 billion to the island in recent weeks.

The US State Department on Tuesday said it had approved the sale of four sophisticated armed drones to Taiwan, the latest in a series of arms transfers to the island.

The $600 million (€513 million) sales of "weapons ready" unmanned MQ-9 Reaper drones to Taiwan will improve the island's defenses by bolstering its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, the State Department said.

The sale will aid Taiwan's "continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability," the department said, adding that it would assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic, and progress in the region.

The four drones, made by General Atomics, would come with ground stations and associated surveillance and communications equipment but not bombs or missiles.

Latest US arms package for Taiwan

The weapons transfer is the first such sale since the Trump administration eased the US policy to restrict the export of sophisticated and closely guarded drone technology.

It also is the latest among other arms packages worth $4.2 billion to Taiwan announced in recent weeks.

The others include 400 land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, 100 cruise missile stations, truck-based rocket launchers, Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles, and related equipment.

The sales have infuriated China, which considers Taiwan as a renegade province that split from the mainland after the civil war seven decades ago.

Beijing has repeatedly threatened to bring the self-governing island into its fold, hinting that it would do so forcibly if necessary.

In recent months, China has carried out simulated amphibious landings on a Taiwan-like territory and flown fighter jets into the island's airspace.

Taiwan has heavily relied on Washington for its security and the US remains its main ally.

US weapons sales to the island have increased in recent months as ties between Washington and Beijing plunged to its lowest levels in several decades.


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