A batch of FIM-92 Stinger missiles arrived overnight on Thursday, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday, citing an unnamed source.
The arms shipment delivered in a Boeing 747 cargo plane at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport has been received by the Ministry of the National Defense, the newspaper reported.
It is part of a US$500 million aid package to Taiwan utilizing the US’ presidential drawdown authority, which draws from US stocks of weaponry and has been used to expedite weapons deliveries to Ukraine, the report said.
The air defense weapons are handheld portable variants of the Stinger missile system.
The package is believed to include weapons systems earmarked for Taiwan, but whose delivery had been delayed due to the Russia-Ukraine war and supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The armed forces already operate variants of the missile, including the Dual Mount Stinger (DMS), the Humvee-mounted Avenger weapons system and an air-launched version adapted for Apache attack helicopters.
Stingers are light, mobile, fire-and-forget air defense weapons that enable the operator to seek cover, relocate or engage a new target immediately after firing, which increases efficiency. They can also be used as short-range weapons against aircraft flying at low altitudes.
The US authorized the transfer of Stinger missile systems in 1996. No further transfers were made after 2000 out of concern that the weapons possess an offensive potential.
On Tuesday last week, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the US Congress that a substantial military aid package would be delivered to Taiwan.
Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) confirmed that the US had informed Taipei of the package ahead of its public announcement.
Commenting on condition of anonymity, a US defense official said that US President Joe Biden used special emergency presidential powers to authorize the package and ensure that backlogged arms would be delivered to bolster Taiwan’s defenses.
No further comments about the implementation details and items in the package could be made, they said.
Yesterday, Institute for National Defense and Security Research analyst Shu Hsiao-huang (舒孝煌) said that the backbone of the nation’s air defenses is comprised of US-made Patriot and domestically developed Tien Kung missiles, but the nation lacks weapons that are effective against low-flying aircraft.
Portable handheld Stinger air defense missiles would be effective against helicopters and drones launched from Chinese People’s Liberation Army amphibious assault ships, he said.
Recent simulations conducted by US think tanks have underscored the importance of having adequate stockpiles of ammunition in deterrence and warfare, he said.
Modern warfare is highly intensive in the use of ammunition and equipment, and Taiwan would not be able to resupply if it is subjected to a naval blockade, Shu said.
The reported inclusion of Stinger missiles and anti-armor weapons such as TOWs and Javelins in upcoming packages suggests that the US is prioritizing territorial defense over long-range strikes or decisive battles at the beachhead, retired air force lieutenant general Chang Yan-ting (張延廷) said.
Ukraine defends its air space from Russia by utilizing air defense missiles, including Stingers, which precludes the invaders from deploying mass airstrikes, he said.
Additional reporting by Wu Su-wei
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance
CROSS-STRAIT CONCERNS: At the same US Congress hearing, Mira Resnick said a US government shutdown could affect weapons sales and licenses to allies such as Taiwan A Chinese blockade of Taiwan would be a “monster risk” for Beijing and likely to fail, while a military invasion would be extremely difficult, senior Pentagon officials told the US Congress on Tuesday. Growing worries of a conflict come as China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan, holding large-scale war games simulating a blockade on the nation, while conducting near-daily warplane incursions and sending Chinese vessels around its waters. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner said a blockade would be “a monster risk for the PRC [People’s Republic of China].” “It would likely not succeed, and it
‘HARASSMENT’: A record 103 Chinese warplanes were detected in 24 hours, posing severe challenges to security in the Taiwan Strait and the region, the ministry said Taiwan yesterday told China to stop its “destructive unilateral actions” after more than 100 Chinese warplanes and nine navy ships were detected in areas around the nation. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) described the number of warplanes detected in 24 hours as a “recent high,” while Beijing has so far refrained from issuing any official comment on the sorties. “Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defense had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft, which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,”
IMPORTS: Fifty-four million imported eggs with a value of more than NT$200 million had to be destroyed, mostly because they expired in storage facilities Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) last night announced that he would resign from his post. Local media on Sunday reported that Chen had resigned due to controversy over the ministry’s egg import program. Later that same evening, the Executive Yuan said that Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) had asked the minister to stay on to resolve the issue. Chen Chi-chung last night made public his decision to resign on Facebook, saying that this time he would not be dissuaded. Chen Chi-chung earlier yesterday apologized for the furor surrounding the egg import program, but added that misinformation had made the problems worse. The government was