Major US Anti-Tank Systems Deal Underscores Taiwan Fortifying Itself Against Future Invasion
This week the State Department announced that it has approved the new potential sale of $180 million more in arms for Taiwan, chiefly consisting of anti-tank systems, which the begins the process of Congressional approval next.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said the Volcano system will boost the island’s "asymmetric warfare" capabilities and the sale should take about a month. Crucially the announcement came mid-week, just after on Monday China sent a record number of 71 aircraft to buzz the self-ruled island, which included more than half of these jets breaching the Taiwan Strait median line.
"The Chinese Communist Party’s frequent military activities near Taiwan have posted severe military threats to us," Taiwan's defense ministry said, stressing that ongoing US military sales are the "cornerstone of maintaining regional stability and peace."
Northrop Grumman, as well as Oshkosh Corporation, are named as the principal contractors for vehicle-launched Volcano anti-tank munition-laying systems and related equipment.
The Volcano system disperses multiple anti-tank mines when mine canisters are ejected over a large area. The Volcano is part of efforts to shore up the Taiwan military's ability to protect its coastline from possible Chinese amphibious landing and invasion.
President Tsai Ing-wen this week vowed to bolster the island's civil defense systems following the recent repeat Chinese PLA incursions of the island's Air Defense Identification Zone. "The more preparations we make, the less likely there will be rash attempts of aggression. The more united we are, the stronger and safer Taiwan would become," Tsai said.
President Biden recently outraged Beijing by signing the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which approves an unprecedented $10 billion in loans for Taiwan to buy US-made arms.
US Army clip showing the Volcano mine-laying system in action...
In response to the new Taiwan funding in the NDAA, China has vowed to keep up the military pressure through drills near the island, which has also of late included naval warships in some instances breaching the Taiwan Strait median line. Beijing officials cited the "the escalating collusion and provocation by the United States and Taiwan."