US approves sale of 4 “Weapons Ready” MQ-9 to Taiwan

(STL.News) The Trump administration has notified Congress that it approved the sale of $600 million in armed MQ-9B drones and related equipment to Taiwan.  The deal will enable Taiwan’s to acquire four “weapons ready” remotely piloted aircraft and related equipment.

This is the latest in a series of arms transfers for the island.

Viewers may note that the US Department of State before this has approved the sale of 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp called HIMARS ( High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles, and 6 MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets in a deal worth $1.8 billion.

The administration has also approved plans for a $2.37 billion sale of Harpoon missile systems to Taiwan which saw Beijing announcing sanctions on U.S. defense contractors, including Boeing.

After this announcement, China vowed Wednesday that it will make a “proper and necessary response” if the U.S. proceeds with the sale.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the move “brutally interferes in China’s internal affairs and seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests,” adding that the U.S. should cancel all such sales to Taiwan “so as to avoid further damage to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

In this video Defense Updates analyzes why the potential sale of the MQ-9 Reaper may have China worried?

YouTube video provided courtesy of Defense Updates

STL.News References:
  1. YouTube
  2. MQ-9 Wikipedia Page