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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan procures more TOW 2B anti-tank missiles from U.S.

ROC Central News Agency

2019/12/30 22:16

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Taiwan's military is procuring anti-tank missiles and launching platforms worth NT$11.3 billion (US$373 million) from the United States, a government notice of award posted online showed Monday.

According to an updated notice of award (NOA) posted on the government's e-procurement System website, the deal involves the purchase of additional TOW 2Bs worth NT$7.5 billion, following a procurement of 460 such missiles in March 2018 that cost NT$3.8 billion.

A notice of award is a public notification that a purchase is being made and that suppliers are needed to meet the project's needs.

In this case the award specifically says the Ministry of National Defense has awarded the bid for the new procurement to the American Institute in Taiwan, which will in turn look for suppliers.

The U.S. has accepted the sale, with a letter of offer and acceptance for the procurement signed by Taiwan and the U.S. on July 8.

Deliveries of the missiles are expected to be completed by March 2028, military sources told CNA, but they were not sure when deliveries would begin.

The missiles will be deployed in Taiwan's offshore islands such as Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu to defend against China's amphibious tanks, hovercrafts and airborne infantry fighting vehicles, the sources said.

The sources declined to reveal how many additional TOW 2Bs are to be procured, but local media speculated that including the previous lot of 460 missiles, the total order will be for 1,240 to 1,700 missiles, 57 sets of launchers and 100 missile vehicles.

The TOW 2B anti-tank missile will replace the TOW 2A missiles Taiwan currently has in its arsenal, but which use a wire-guided system that dates back to the 1960s, Smith Chen (陳國銘), senior editor of Defence International Magazine, told CNA.

The TOW 2Bs use wireless guidance, which aside from improved accuracy, allows troops to retreat immediately after firing, reducing the risks of a counterattack, Chen said.

Arms sales from the United States to Taiwan have increased in recent years. Recently approved arms sales include 108 units of M1A2T tanks, 250 Stinger Missiles and 66 F-16V multi-role fighter jets, among others.

(By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim) Enditem/ls



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