Making Sense of the Latest Taiwan Arms Deal

ROC Marine Corps AAV-7A1 in ROCA Infantry School Ground. Image Credit: CC by 玄史生/Wikimedia Commons.

Taiwan-watchers waited for long four years for new arms sales, but their patience was not met with large reward when the news about imminent arms sale to Taiwan emerged at the end of November.

The official announcement from this week confirmed that the package presents rather modest improvement of existing inventory. The largest difference against earlier speculations was the absence of a single AH-64E Guardian Apache meant to compensate for a loss of the same attack helicopter in 2014.

Another discussed and non-controversial item, 10 MH-60R helicopters, is not on the list either, which is in all likelihood a result of unfinished bureaucratic procedures after Taiwan submitted letter of request (LoR) at the end of October. Anyone who expected some remarkable boost of Taiwan’s defense will be disappointed.

Full text of my piece for USNI News published on 18 December 2015


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