Taiwan will purchase high-tech reconnaissance pods from the United States in order to keep tabs on the Chinese navy.
Taiwan has agreed to pay $343 million to the US for high-tech aerial reconnaissance pods that will help the Taiwanese Air Force increase monitoring of the Chinese Navy in its backyard.
According to Focus Taiwan, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) stated that the system will be implemented in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan, by March 15, 2029.
The agreement was signed by Taiwan’s Defense Mission in the United States and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which is in charge of US-Taiwan relations in the absence of formal diplomatic connections.
Despite the fact that the ministry only stated that they are purchasing “latest generation airborne reconnaissance pods,” the Focus Taiwan report stated that the package includes six MS-110 Recce Pods for the F-16 jets that the US will supply.
The MS-110 Recce Pods are “more advanced than the widely deployed DB-110 dual-band airborne reconnaissance devices for long-range imagery,” according to a senior expert quoted by the news site.
According to Su Tzu-yun, a senior analyst at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, “the new system allows rapid exploitation of multispectral imagery via high-speed near-real-time data links, and can greatly increase the military’s capabilities in terms of intelligence gathering.”
Taiwan’s bid to improve defense capabilities comes amid an uptick in Chinese incursions in recent months. In a single day in April, 25 PLA aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
The United States approved the supply of weaponry to Taiwan in October of last year, including rocket launchers, sensors, and artillery. A total of 135 precision-guided cruise missiles, mobile light rocket launchers, and air reconnaissance pods are included in the $1.8 billion package.
Taiwan’s MND stated in June that it would buy Lockheed Martin M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers and Boeing Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems from the United States (HCDSs). The MND, on the other hand, did not make the contract’s contents public.
China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province, has been vocal in its opposition to the arms transfer. Lockheed Martin was previously threatened with sanctions by Beijing for its role in a $620 million upgrade package for Taiwan’s existing Patriot missiles.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, then called on the US to cease sending weapons to Taiwan in order to “prevent further hurting Sino-US ties as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
“To protect the country’s interests, China has decided to take the necessary steps, including imposing penalties on Lockheed Martin, the major contractor for this sale,” Zhao said. Brief News from Washington Newsday.