State Department Approves $619 Million F-16 Missile Sale for Taiwan

The US has approved more than $20 billion in arms sales for Taiwan since 2019, deals that China strongly opposes

The State Department on Wednesday approved a potential $619 million weapons sale to Taiwan for hundreds of missiles to arm the island’s US-made F-16 fighter jets.

The approval of the deal notifies Congress and begins a period where the sale could be blocked, but it shouldn’t have a problem in either chamber as there is strong bipartisan support for arming Taiwan.

According to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the deal includes 200 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 100 AGM-88B High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM), and related equipment.

The DSCA said the principal contractors for the deal are Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Lockheed Martin is currently building new F-16s for Taiwan that were part of a purchase finalized in 2020 for 66 fighter jets worth about $8 billion. The new F-16s are expected to be delivered in a few years.

The US has always sold weapons to Taiwan since severing diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979, but the arms sales have spiked in recent years as the US has become more hawkish toward Beijing. According to The Wall Street Journal, since 2019, the US has approved more than $20 billion in military aircraft, Javelin and Stinger missiles, howitzers, and other munitions for Taiwan.

China is strongly opposed to US arms sales to Taiwan and denounced the approval of the latest deal. “Such sales undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests and harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China firmly opposes this,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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