• An M109A6 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer. (US Army)
    An M109A6 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer. (US Army)

The US State Department has approved the sale of 40 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems and related equipment to Taiwan.

A notification from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) released last Wednesday confirmed the possible deal, worth an estimated $US750 million (AU$1 billion).

“This proposed sale of M109A6 SPH will contribute to the modernization of the recipient’s self-propelled howitzer fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats,” the DSCA said.

“These systems will contribute to the recipient’s goal of updating its military capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies.”

The order also includes 20 M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles, one Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, five M88A2 Hercules vehicles, five M2 Chrysler Mount .50 caliber machine guns, and 1,698 multi-option, Precision Guidance Kits.

“This proposed sale serves US national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the DSCA continued.

“The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.” 

This deal reaffirms US support towards Taiwan following over US$5.1 billion (according to Reuters) in arms sales approved last year under the Trump administration, which caused China to announce sanctions against companies involved in the sales, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies.

In a statement on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry denounced the recent possible arms sales, calling them a “violation of the One China policy” and threatening that Beijing would “take proper and necessary countermeasures in accordance with the development of the situation”.  

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