The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DCSA) said it had delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale, which was requested by the Taipei Economic Cultural Representative Office in Washington.
Taiwan’s presidential office said that this was the third arms deal announced since President Joe Biden took office, demonstrating the “rock-solid” nature of the countries’ relationship.
“Taiwan will continue to demonstrate its determination to defend itself, and continue to deepen cooperative partnerships with the United States and other like-minded countries,” Taiwanese spokesperson Xavier Chang said.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it expected the deal to “become effective” within the month.
The proposed sale would include training, planning, fielding, deployment, operation, maintenance, and sustainment of the Patriot Air Defense System and associated equipment, according to DCSA’s statement.
It stated that the proposed sale will help improve Taiwan’s security and support “maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.”
“The proposed sale will help to sustain the recipient’s missile density and ensure readiness for air operations. The recipient will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense,” DCSA said.
“The recipient will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and services into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” it added.
The Pentagon said that the main contractor for the possible sale would be Raytheon Technologies.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that it detected four Chinese military jets entering its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), marking Beijing’s fourth incursion into Taiwan this month. It identified the aircraft as four J-11 fighter jets and said they were given radio warnings and monitored by air defense missile systems.
Tensions between the self-ruled island and the regime in Beijing have been escalating, with the largest Chinese incursion into Taiwanese airspace taking place on Jan. 23, which involved 39 aircraft including an H-6 bomber. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to conquer the island by force if necessary.
The United States is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties and the anger such weapons sales always generate in Beijing.
Reuters contributed to this report.