Washington, Nov. 3 (CNA) The U.S. government on Tuesday announced plans to sell Taiwan four MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$600 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) under the U.S. Department of Defense formally notified Congress of the possible sale on Tuesday after it was approved by the State Department, according to a news release published by the DSCA on its website.
This is the U.S.' 10th arms sale to Taiwan since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.
The deal would also be the first such sale since the Trump administration loosened export rules for military drones amid its rivalry with China.
Included in the package are four weapons-ready MQ-9B unmanned aerial drones, two fixed ground control stations, two mobile ground control stations and 14 embedded global positioning system/inertial navigation systems (EGI) with selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM).
Also included are MX-20 multi-spectral targeting systems and spares; SeaVue maritime multi-role patrol radars; SAGE 750 electronic surveillance measures (ESM) systems; C-Band line-of-sight (LOS) ground data terminals; Ku-Band SATCOM GA-ASI transportable Earth stations (GATES); AN/DPX-7 IFF transponders; Honeywell TPE-331-10GD turboprop engines; M6000 UHF/VHF radios; KIV-77 Mode 5 IFF cryptographic appliques and AN/PYQ-10C simple key loaders.
Other items in the package are secure communications, cryptographic and identification friend or foe (IFF) equipment; initial spare and repair parts; hard points, power, and data connections for weapons integration; support and test equipment; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.
The total estimated cost of the deal is US$600 million, according to the DSCA.
The DSCA said the proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting Taiwan's continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.
The proposed sale will help improve the security of Taiwan and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region, according to the DSCA.
The DSCA stressed that the proposed sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region.