The State Department approved eight possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) requests to Taiwan totaling $1.718 billion for various major defense systems.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential sales on Dec. 16.

USS Thach (FFG 43), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate. Photo: U.S. Navy.
USS Thach (FFG 43), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate. Photo: U.S. Navy.

The requests include $268 million in almost 800 TOW 2B Aero Radio Frequency (RF) Missiles (BGM-71F-Series); $416 million in 13 Mk 15 Phalanx Block 1B Baseline 2 Close-in Weapons System (CIWS) guns with 260,000 rounds of 20 mm Mk 244 Mod 0 Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabots (APDS) in ammunition; and $190 million for the sale, refurbishment, and upgrade of two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates (FFG-7) provided as Excess Defense Articles (EDA) with each vessel equipped with weapons, electronic systems, and training/program support.

Additional sales include $120 million in follow-on life cycle support to maintain the Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems Low Volume Terminals (MIDS/LVT-1) and Joint Tactical Information Distribution Systems (JTIDS) previously procured; $375 million for 36 Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV) with 30 .50 caliber M2 machine guns and six 7.62mm M240 machine guns; $57 million in 208 Javelin Guided Missiles; $217 million in 254 Block I-92F MANPAD Stinger Missiles; and $75 million in Taiwan Advanced Tactical Data Link System (TATDLS) and Link-11 Integration, which includes four Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems (MIDS) On Ship Low Volume Terminals (LVTs) and four Command and Control Processor (C2P) units.

Each sale also comes with related equipment and training support.

The primary contractor for the TOW missiles, Phalanx CIWS, and Stinger missiles sales would be Raytheon [RTN]. Although there are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with the TOW sale, the purchaser requested an offset of 40 percent on the Phalanx sale, which it normally requests for industrial cooperation, DSCA said.

The prime contractors for the Javelin FMS would be a joint venture of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin [LMT], with no known offset agreements proposed yet.

The principal contractors for the frigates, follow-on life cycle support for the MIDS/LVT-1 and JTIDS, AAVs, and the TATDLS/Link-11 Integration sales are to be selected later through competitive procurements conducted by the U.S. government in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation. DSCA again highlighted Taiwan, as a purchaser, normally requests 40 percent in offsets for industrial cooperation.

The TOW missile sale would require no more than 10 U.S. government or contractor representatives at any time to travel to Taiwan for multiple periods for equipment de-processing/ fielding, system checkout, and new equipment training. All efforts will take less than 16 weeks in total, DSCA said.

The Javelin missile FMS implementation would require 12 government or contractor representatives to visit Taiwan for six weeks, not concurrently.

Implementation of both the MIDS/LVT-1 and JTIDS as well as TATDLS/Link-11 Integration FMS would require multiple trips to the recipient by several government and contractor representatives to participate in training, program management, and technical reviews.

An MK 15 Baseline 2 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS). Photo: U.S. Navy
An MK 15 Baseline 2 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS). Photo: U.S. Navy

Phalanx, frigate, AAV, and Javelin sales implementation should not require the permanent assignment of additional government or contractor representatives to Taiwan, DSCA said.

DSCA highlighted these sales are consistent with U.S. law and policy, expressed in Public Law 96-8 (the Taiwan Relations Act, TRA), and will help Taiwan improve its defensive capability.

Since 1979, when the U.S. transferred diplomatic recognition of China from Taiwan to Beijing, relations between the U.S. and Taiwan have been governed by the TRA. Taiwan’s government in the sales documents is referred to as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, which is the equivalent of an unofficial embassy.