Taiwan News reported that the military has signed a contract with the United States worth NT$1.4 billion (US$50.48 million) to maintain and repair the ground installations for its Patriot PAC-3 missiles. The agreement came as China has been sending warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on an almost daily basis for more than a year while also modernizing its air force, navy, and missiles. The Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of China (Taiwan) delegation in the U.S. signed the contract with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on August 31.
The nation has deployed 350 Patriot missiles, with agreements between the two countries governing not just the missile systems but also separate aspects such as technical support, maintenance, and transport to the U.S. for repairs. The new contract became valid the day it was signed and will remain so until the end of 2025. Taiwan initially procured Patriot Advanced Capability PAC-2 missiles, which were later upgraded to PAC-3 level. Taiwan was planning to add 300 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) systems in 2025 and 2026. The new missiles are larger and have a longer reach, but the Ministry of National Defense did not provide details about the project.
Taiwan’s military will soon test-fire Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) systems at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. A live-fire verification test of Taiwan’s Patriot missiles is carried out every two years and it can only be performed in the U.S., due to security concerns. PAC-3 hade been stationed on Taiwan’s east coast in a response to China’s changing military strategy. Therefore, the East Asian nation always sends a team to White Sands to carry out the drill. Taiwan and Japan are the only countries that conduct missile tests in the U.S.
Taiwan and the U.S. agreed on a procurement deal for similar systems during talks in 2019. MIM-104F Patriot Advanced Capability 3 is a significant PATRIOT upgrade to nearly every aspect of the system. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is the prime contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade to the Patriot air defense system which will make the missile more agile and extend its range by up to 50%. The PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade consists of the PAC-3 missile, a very agile hit-to-kill interceptor, the PAC-3 missile canisters (in four packs), a fire solution computer, and an Enhanced Launcher Electronics System (ELES).