The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on May 20 notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale to Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) of eighteen (18) MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology (AT) Heavy Weight Torpedoes (HWT) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $180 million. According to a release by the agency, TECRO has requested to buy eighteen heavyweight torpedoes, which also includes spare parts, test equipment, and other related elements of logistics support from the US government.
"This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability. The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region," US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release on its website.
The proposed deal is likely to inflame tensions between China and the United States but Washington insists that the sale will improve Taiwan's security and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region. As per the United States, Taiwan will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and strengthen homeland defense. The United States also claims that the proposed sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
Tensions between the United States and China are already at its peak after Washington vowed to support Taiwan's effort in the World Health Assembly late last month. The United States has also time and again blamed China for the coronavirus outbreak and accused Beijing of not sharing full information about the disease with the international community. US President Donald Trump and his administration have also claimed that the virus is not of natural occurring and that it emerged at a virology laboratory in Wuhan.
(Image Credit: AP)