Taiwan could order 300 additional Patriot PAC-3 missiles from the United States


According to news released by the "Taiwan News" newspaper website on December 2020, Taiwan could purchase 300 additional Patriot PAC-3 missiles from the United States. At the same time, Taiwan could also acquire M109 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers and smart mines.
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Launcher unit of Patriot air defense missile system of Taiwanese army. (Picture source Wikimedia)


According to the Military Balance 2020, Taiwan armed forces has a total of 72 MIM_104F Patriot PAC-3 missile. In January 2010, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States of 114 PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles, 3 AN/MPQ-65 Radar Sets and other related equipment and services, for an estimated cost of $2.81 billion.

In July 2020, the United States had approved a possible $620 million upgrade package for Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Taiwan. Taiwan had requested to buy components to upgrade its Patriot missiles “in order to support an operational life of 30 years”, according to the U.S. State Department.

Already in service, the PAC-3 air defense missiles are an important weapon in Taiwan's high-altitude defense systems, which are deployed in Taiwan's major cities and surround Taiwan's important military facilities.

The PAC-3 upgrade carried with it a new missile design, nominally known as MIM-104F and called PAC-3 by the U.S. Army. The PAC-3 missile is also more maneuverable than previous variants, due to 180 tiny pulse solid propellant rocket motors mounted in the forebody of the missile (called Attitude Control Motors, or ACMs) which serve to fine align the missile trajectory with its target to achieve hit-to-kill capability.

The PAC-3 is the most advanced model, with a maximum interception range of 70 kilometers, and a maximum interception altitude of over 24 kilometers. The search range of its radar is 100 kilometers and can track 100 targets at the same time.


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