TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taiwanese military has doubled its budget to allow the purchase of Harpoon mobile coastal missile systems from the United States to bolster defenses along the country’s coastline, and the sale is expected to receive approval Washington by 2023.
The Department of National Defense (DND) decided in May to ask the United States to sell more than 10 sets of Harpoon mobile missile systems and related equipment with an initial budget of NT $ 51 billion (1, $ 7 billion), according to Media. However, after Washington made a second assessment of the potential sale, the number of Harpoon missiles increased while the number of missile systems remained the same.
The new NT $ 81 billion budget forced the Navy to reduce its allocation of 10 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to NT $ 30 billion and postpone the potential sale until after 2022.
Taiwanese and US officials agree the Harpoon missile system is an “extremely urgent” item needed to bolster Taiwan’s coastal defense, according to people familiar with the matter. Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping (å¼µå²å¹³) told the Legislative Yuan in May that this system “would increase rapidly. [the militaryâs] combat effectiveness. “
Defense officials say the Harpoon’s ground units have superior mobility compared to the Hsiung Feng II missile system.