The Pentagon has approved the sale of 40 units of 155-mm M109A6 self-propelled howitzer artillery systems worth $750 million to Taiwan.
Apart from the howitzers, the package includes, an Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, 5 units of M88A2 Hercules vehicles, and 5 units of M2 Chrysler Mount .50 caliber machine guns, and 1,698 multi-option Precision Guidance Kits (PGK).
The package also covers repair and maintenance of obsolete self-propelled howitzers of the same model, apart from several global navigation systems, electro-optical night vision devices, and training and maintenance of the howitzers.
The Pentagon has notified the US Congress of the possible sale.
Expressing its “sincere gratitude” to the United States, Taiwan’s military Department said, the sale would help increase “the ability of its ground forces to respond quickly and provide fire support”; it also mentioned that US arms supplies are “the basis for maintaining regional stability.”
In a statement the US State Department said, it hopes to bring stability to the region with the proposed sale as well as increase the efficiency of Taiwan’s artillery. The deal serves US national and economic interests and ensures American security.
The government of Taiwan aims to begin direct talks with manufacturers and major contractors on the massive in the near future. In a press release, the DSCA said, negotiations with manufacturers and major contractors would be required since the entire contract does not define a single contractor. The agreement includes several contractors including BAE Systems, AL and Elgin, Anniston, M992A2 FAASV, Aniston Army Depot (ANAD), Bynum, and AL.