Harpoon anti-ship missiles to strengthen maritime security of Taiwan, says GlobalData

Following the recent news that the US State Department has approved a US$2.4bn deal to sell Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Taiwan;

Hemant BhandariAerospace, Defense and Security Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The US government has approved the foreign military sale (FMS) of 400 Harpoon RGM-84L-4 Block II Surface Launched Missiles (SLM), besides 100 Harpoon coastal defense systems to Taiwan. The move follows the recent sale of Lockheed Martin HIMRAS rocket launchers, Boeing AGM-84H SLAM-ER missiles and Raytheon MS-110 sensor pods worth US$1.8bn. This deal will maintain the military balance, political stability and improve the security of Taiwan.

“With a range of 125km, the GPS aided Harpoon anti-ship missiles are capable of striking naval vessels, surface to air missiles sites, coastal defense sites and ports which will further strengthen the maritime security of Taiwan. According to a forecast (2020-30) by GlobalData on Global Missiles & Missile Defense Systems, the anti-ship missile segment worldwide is anticipated to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.43% between 2020 and 2030, growing from US$1.6bn to US$2.5bn.

“Continuous threats of invasion by China and its ‘One-China’ policy has intensified cross-strait disputes. The constant military support of the US to Taiwan and the US’ multibillion-dollar arms export of missiles, 66 new model F-16 Block 70 aircraft, and several other defense equipments, have affected the US-China relationship.

“Furthermore, China has already declared that it would impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon Technologies Corporation and Boeing’s defense unit and has urged the US to stop its military contact and arms sale to Taiwan deeming them to be detrimental to the Chinese-US relationship. The nature of these sanctions has not been outlined by China yet, and considering the limited exposure of American defense firms to the Chinese market, it will be interesting to see whether there is any deterrence to their revenues.”

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