October 26, 2005

US approves $280 mln missile sale to Taiwan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department on
Wednesday notified Congress that it had approved the sale to
Taiwan of 10 AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles and 5 AIM-7M Sparrow
missiles -- both built by Raytheon Co.

The proposed sale, valued at $280 million if all options
are exercised, also included continuation of a pilot training
program and logistics support for F-16 aircraft, as well as
associated equipment and services.

The Defense Security and Cooperation Agency said the sale
was consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, under which the
United States makes available sufficient defense items and
services to allow Taiwan to defend itself against a possible
attack by China.

The DSCA, which oversees foreign arms sales, said the
Sidewinder and Sparrow missiles would be drawn from U.S.
inventory if needed, and Taiwan would use them for live fire
exercises at the Luke Air Force Base training facility in

Congress has 30 days to block the sale, although such
action is rare.

The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range,
air-to-air missile carried by fighter aircraft. The AIM-7
Sparrow is a radar-guided, air-to-air missile with a
high-explosive warhead.