Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense is close to a deal to purchase the mobile coastal defense system with Boeing Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, according to UP Media, which cited people familiar with the matter.
The new mobile coastal defense system is intended to perform surveillance of maritime coastal traffic, monitoring and picturing sea lines of communication, and identification and detection of hostile targets. It is also capable of countering and interdicting the potential coastal threats in territorial waters. This expands the defended area and enhances the total fighting capability of the force.
The potential deal would strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan defense relationship. The United States already has exported weapons to Taiwan annually for more than 70 years. Since 2008, the United States has sold more than $24 billion in arms to Taiwan, including fighter aircraft, tanks, and missiles.
The Trump administration has been stepping up its support for Taiwan, including approving $10 billion (1 trillion yen) in arms sales in 2019, despite strong Chinese opposition.
Also noted that, an official Washington has been asking Taipei since last year to buy more American weapons and the Harpoon was one of the items being peddled to Taiwan.
Taiwan already has the Hsiung Feng II and III coastal road-mobile missiles for attacking land and sea targets. It is suggested that the Tsai government is under pressure from the Trump administration to buy more weapons.