Taiwan has signed a contract with the US for maintenance of the island’s Patriot air defense missile systems, a move that comes as Washington is working to bolster Taipei’s military.
According to The South China Morning Post, the five-year contract is worth $77.8 million and will send technicians from Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to the island through 2027.
A Taiwanese military source told the Post that the technicians will be sent to Taiwan for the long term and that the arrangement will provide “timely servicing for our systems.”
The source said the deal was especially necessary since China practiced live-fire exercises in August that included firing missiles over Taiwan, which came in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visiting the island.
The signing of the contract comes as the US is looking at ways to get more weapons into Taiwan’s hands. It was revealed this week that the US is considering a plan to jointly produce arms with Taiwan so weapons could get to the island more quickly without delays.
The Senate wants to give Taiwan $10 billion in military aid over the next five years and has included the measure in its version of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which senators are expected to approve after midterms in November.