Raytheon has signed a US$685.7 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract to provide two additional new fire units of the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for Taiwan, the company announced.
In a press release last week, the defense contractor said the fire units would feature new advanced technology, improved man-machine interface and reduced life cycle costs.
In 2008, Raytheon was awarded a contract to upgrade Taiwan’s existing Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) systems, followed by a second one in 2009 for new systems. The first PAC-3 upgraded radar system was delivered to Taiwan earlier this year, 10 months ahead of the original program plan requested by the Taiwanese Air Force.
The new fire units are part of the US$6.4 billion arms package agreed by the administration of US President Barack Obama in January last year.
In addition to the two fire units, one training unit and 114 PAC-3 missiles were included in last year's package. This month’s FMS does not include missiles, which are manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp.
The two batteries are to complete a total of six PAC-3 defense systems. The first four are to be delivered by 2014 or 2015.
“Raytheon’s excellent performance for this customer on current and past contracts continues to drive trust, as we deliver superior technology and support for Taiwan’s protection,” Sanjay Kapoor, vice president for Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business, said in the press release.
Reports in Chinese-language media in August had claimed that Taiwan’s efforts to procure the two additional PAC-3 air defense batteries were being jeopardized by political bickering and a lack of funds, and that failure to conclude a Letter of Acceptance by the end of this month could result in Taiwan paying much more than the price option listed for the units in last year’s notification.
However, a representative for Raytheon at the time told the Taipei Times that negotiations were on track.
Taiwan’s Patriot missile batteries are deployed around Taipei, Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
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