The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday thanked the US after Washington approved the sale of a US$180 million arms package, mainly involving a minelaying system.
The sale includes the M136 “Volcano” automated mine delivery system and the M977A4 HEMTT 10-tonne cargo trucks on which the system would be mounted, the ministry said.
Developed in the 1980s, the system can be mounted on ground vehicles or helicopters and uses prepackaged mine canisters that contain multiple anti-personnel and anti-tank mines that can be dispersed over large areas.
Photo: Screengrab from US Army website
The equipment would significantly boost Taiwan’s asymmetrical warfare capabilities, as it enables more efficient anti-tank mine placement, the ministry said.
The sale embodies Washington’s commitment to ensuring that Taiwan can defend itself, as stated by the Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances,” the ministry said, expressing its “sincere gratitude” to the US.
The ministry added that arms sales are likely to be formally confirmed by the US Congress within a month.
Photo: Screengrab from US Army website
The Executive Yuan approved the proposal to buy the minelaying system last year, an unnamed military source told the Central News Agency earlier this year.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the latest deal is the eighth arms sale to Taiwan by the administration of US President Joe Biden, which “fully demonstrates the US government’s high regard for Taiwan’s defense capabilities.”
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced the proposed sale on Wednesday.
“The proposed sale will improve the recipient’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing a credible force capable of deterring adversaries and participating in regional operations,” the agency said in a statement.
The weapons package also includes M87A1 anti-tank munitions, M88 canister training munitions and M89 training munitions, as well as related logistics support and technical assistance.
According to the US Federal Procurement Data System, there are plans to supply Taiwan with the International Field Artillery Tactical Data System (IFATDS), the international version of the US Army’s Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System.
The system increases the lethality of the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems by providing a secure communications system combining information from sources across the battlefield for a better operating picture and greater situational awareness.
The Ukrainian-language Ukrayinska Pravda news site has reported that Kyiv would purchase 18 sets of IFATDS from the US.
The purchase would be conducted using funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, the report said.
Taiwanese tourists on board a Kinmen cruise ship had a scare yesterday when it was intercepted by Chinese coast guards who forcefully boarded the vessel to inspect it. The Sunrise, a tourism ferry that operates between Kinmen and Xiamen, China, was sailing around the waters around the islets of Dadan (大膽) and Erdan (二膽) — both of which are part of Kinmen County — yesterday afternoon when it encountered personnel from China’s Fujian Coast Guard Bureau. China Coast Guard personnel forced their way on board and conducted an inspection for about 30 minutes before leaving, local media cited the tourists as saying. The
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China
KINMEN: Coast guards on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should prohibit the entry of illegal vessels into ‘restricted’ waters to uphold maritime safety, Chen Chien-jen said Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday called for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to approach the security of Kinmen and Xiamen waters with rationality and equitability, following a boat chase that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week. Chen was responding to media inquiries ahead of a legislative session amid rising cross-strait tensions following the capsizing of a Chinese speedboat off the east coast of Kinmen on Wednesday last week during a pursuit by the Taiwanese coast guard. The Ministry of National Defense established the boundaries of “prohibited” and “restricted” waters around Kinmen in 1992 to better protect
COMMUNICATION: A US representative said that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan, which could put US military personnel at risk in the Western Pacific in a conflict Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) might have contravened its Pentagon contract by not providing access to its satellite communication network Starshield in and around Taiwan, a letter from a US House of Representatives committee to the company said. In September last year, the US Department of Defense awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield access, worth US$100 million. A few months before that, the Pentagon also commissioned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network to be used by Ukrainian forces amid Russia’s invasion. Starshield is a derivative of Starlink intended for military use. SpaceX has long worked closely with the US military and intelligence agencies, which