The US has proposed an upgrade of Patriot surface-to-air missiles sold to Taiwan in 2010.
The proposal includes upgrading as many as 100 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC) – 3 missiles to the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) version, Bloomberg reported, citing a Department of State notice.
The upgrade includes M903 Launcher modification kits, missile round trainers, and software upgrades.
The missiles are expected to be delivered between 2025 and 2026.
More Capable Missile
The upgrade comprises “a larger, dual pulse solid rocket motor; larger fins; and upgraded actuators and thermal batteries to accommodate increased performance” and range, Lockheed Martin explained.
The “world’s most advanced” theater air defense missile protects against aerial threats such as “tactical ballistic missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction, evolving cruise missiles and aircraft.”
“The 100 PAC-3 MSEs would allow Taiwan’s missile batteries to have an increased range of 60 kilometers (37 miles) while continuing to build up the nation’s supply of PAC-family missiles,” the outlet quoted a research analyst from the Institute for National Defense and Security Shu Hsiao-huang.
However, Shud added that the territory should strive to increase the production of the indigenous Tien Kung-III missiles.
The 2010 Deal
The $882 million upgrade will not alter the deal’s original $2.81 billion price tag.
The deal was part of a larger $6.4 billion package for Taiwan, including 60 UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters, two Osprey-class mine-hunting ships, 12 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and various communications equipment.
The deal damaged US-China relations, leading to Beijing imposing sanctions on US companies involved in the deal and halting military exchanges with Washington.
The proposal is expected to be reviewed by Congress within 30 days.