US renews contract to upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot Missiles
The US has agreed to provide major upgrades and maintenance services for Taiwan’s Patriot missiles over four-and-a-half years.
The contract renewal comes after China conducted a series of military drills around Taiwan in retaliation for the controversial visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The recently-signed 2.5 billion new Taiwan dollar ($83 million) agreement will reportedly help the island nation in assessing and improving the performance of its Patriot missile system.
It is also expected to bolster the reliability and precision strike capacity of the weapons.
A South China Morning Post report revealed that Taipei has been seeking to upgrade its Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-2 missiles to PAC-3 Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM).
PAC-3 missiles provide increased effectiveness against tactical ballistic and cruise missiles with the help of advanced hit-to-kill technology.
Investments in Missile Systems
Amid increasing pressure from Beijing, Taiwan continues to allocate significant funds to acquire, develop, and test missile systems.
Earlier this year, the self-ruled island said it would more than double its missile production capacity from 207 to 497 per year.
Taipei also announced that it plans to establish anti-ship missile squadrons to help deter a potential Chinese navy invasion.
Additionally, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, the island’s top weapons maker, said it would stage a four-day missile test later this month in one of the areas where China conducted massive war games.
The state-owned corporation assured that the missile test would not cross the median line in the Taiwan Strait, which serves as the boundary between the two nations.