Report Confirms US Patriot Missile Experts Have Been Sent to Taiwan

Taiwan has bought at least 400 Patriot missiles since 1997

Taiwan’s Air Force has budgeted $14.15 million for the US to send Patriot missile experts to the island for weapons tests between 2019 and 2022. The program was revealed by a financial report released by Taiwan’s National Audit Office last week, The South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

Washington hasn’t had formal diplomatic relations with Taipei since 1979, but the US continues to arm the island. There were reports of US weapons experts traveling to Taiwan for tests, but nothing has been confirmed until now for fear of angering Beijing. The Post said the program was revealed unintentionally in the audit report.

Since 1997, the US has sold at least 400 Patriot missiles to Taiwan. Earlier this year, Taiwan said it will buy an advanced version of the Patriot defense missiles, known as the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement. The purchase will be part of a $620 million missile sale approved by the Trump administration last year.

Since Lockheed Martin is the contractor for the Patriot systems the US sells to Taiwan, China reacted to the $620 million deal by sanctioning the US weapons maker. The sale was just a fraction of Taiwan arms sales that were approved by the Trump administration last year. In 2020, the US moved forward $5.1 billion in arms sales for the island.

The US has also taken steps in recent years to boost diplomatic ties with Taiwan, angering Beijing. Both the Trump and Biden administrations loosened restrictions for US contacts with Taiwanese officials. The US is also keeping up military provocations in the Taiwan Strait. So far, the Biden administration has sailed warships through the sensitive waterway seven times, keeping up the transits at a monthly rate.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.