Taiwan to get more Patriot missiles for its air defense


Taiwan finally reached an agreement with the U.S. on April 28 to inspect its Patriot III missiles at an undisclosed American military base, Kelvin Chen reports in Taiwan News. This inspection will take place after administrative errors were corrected. The Control Yuan indeed pointed out last month the Air Force had failed to comply with project approval procedures for its Patriot III missiles.
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Firing of a Patriot missile (Picture source: U.S. DoD)


After it received approval from the Ministry of Defense, it sent a request to a Taiwan military delegation in the U.S. to contact the American government for a missile test agreement. This action violated administrative procedures, Kelvin Chen reports. After corrections were made by the Ministry, the entire plan was halted, China News Agency reported. The missiles will now be tested in eight batches from 2023 to 2030, with 48 items per batch over seven to eight months. It is expected the testing will be completed before September 30, 2030, according to Apple Daily.

Additionally, the Ministry of Defense recently confirmed that it has purchased Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) systems and expects to complete delivery between 2025 and 2026. The new missiles have a longer reach and are larger, allowing only 12 units per launch vehicle as opposed to 16 for the previous Patriot variant.

In December 2020, Taiwan's Air Force Command was planning on purchasing an additional 300 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptors from the U.S. in 2021, Taiwan News reported. It is estimated that Taiwan's arsenal of PAC-3 missiles will reach 650 by 2027. Air Force Chief of Staff Huang Chih-wei said he could not disclose the exact quantity at the moment, but he claimed that the procurement of missiles would stay within the originally allocated budget of NT$170 billion (US$6 billion).

Amid frequent incursions by Chinese military planes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the country’s latest military drills, last March, were focused on air defense with the help of Patriot and Avenger missiles. The main purpose was to show that the Taiwanese Armed Forces are capable of repelling an enemy air attack and taking the necessary measures to control the country’s air space. The mobile units loaded with Patriot missiles were ordered to move quickly from one site to another, and the Army transported surface-to-air Avenger missiles under the cover of night to simulate defensive action.


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