Sale of U.S. M1A2 tanks, ammunition on schedule: Defense ministry

06/06/2019 12:48 PM
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Photo from Pixabay
Photo from Pixabay

Taipei, June 6 (CNA) Four batches of arms sale requests have been sent to the U.S., the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Thursday, following a foreign media report that Washington could soon grant the sales, which include tanks and ammunition.

The four requests are for 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks, 1,240 BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, 409 FGM-148 Javelin surface-to-air missiles and 250 FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, according to a MND statement.

Taiwan has sent Letters of Request to the U.S. and is awaiting a response, it said, adding that the process is going smoothly and according to schedule.

The ministry's comments came amid a Reuters report earlier in the day that the U.S. is pursuing the sale of more than US$2 billion-worth of tanks and weapons to Taiwan, in a move that could further anger China as a trade war between the world's two biggest economies escalates.

Foreign ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the U.S. is currently reviewing the requests.

AIT, meanwhile, said it does not comment on potential or pending arms sales or transfers before they have been formally notified to Congress.

According to the steps released by the MND on requesting arms sales from the U.S., should the U.S. give such a request a green light, it sends a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) to Taiwan detailing its offer.

Taipei then reviews the offer and completes a proposal for the procurement project before sending the LOA back to the U.S.

Various U.S. government branches then review the proposal before the U.S. government notifies Congress of the sale and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency under the Department of Defense makes the deal public.

The process is completed once both sides sign the LOA, according to the MND.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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