The State Department approved an arms sale to Taiwan worth approximately $1.8 billion and formally notified Congress of the deal on Wednesday. The news comes a week after the Trump administration informally notified Congress about the sales.
The administration approved three weapons packages. Among the weapons being sold are 135 Boeing-made cruise-missiles known as Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response Missiles, which have an estimated value of $1.008 billion.
Another package consists of 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin called High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, worth an estimated $436.1 million. The administration also approved the sale of six MS-110 reconnaissance sensor pods that can be attached to Taiwan’s fighter jets, estimated at $367.2 million.
Reports from last week said the administration informally notified Congress about the sale of five weapons packages, so two more are expected to go through.
Since the US opened up diplomatic relations with Beijing and severed formal ties with Taipei in 1979, Washington has continued to sell weapons to Taiwan to discourage China from invading. The tradition is lucrative for US weapons makers. In the 2019 fiscal year, Taiwan requested more weapons from the US than any other country.