MND says delayed weapons will be delivered in 2024

18 June, 2024

Courtesy of ICRT


Ministry of National Defense (MND) Minister Wellington Koo says the military is expected to take delivery of all 1,700 wire-guided 2B anti-tank missiles and 100 launchers purchased from the US before the end of this year. The statement comes as delivery of the missiles has faced a two-year delay.


The government allocated NT$11.8 billion over the 2018-2025 fiscal years to purchase the missiles and launchers and delivery was initially set to begin in 2022. However, Taiwan has yet to receive any of the missiles or launchers.


Speaking at a legislative hearing, Koo said the delay was due to the weapons initially failing to pass required US Army tests, but they have now passed those tests and delivery is pending. According to Koo, the anti-tank missiles and launchers are one of three major arms packages from the U-S that have suffered major delivery delays. The other two packages consist of 66 F-16Vs jet fighters and AGM-154 air-to-ground missile systems.


In other defence news, MND Minister Koo is defending comments made by President Lai Ching-te, after the president warned against "capitulationism" in a speech to military cadets. Koo called Lai's remarks “a necessary posture” arising from the country's asymmetrical defensive strategy.


Lai had said the country could not “fail to distinguish between friends and foes and should never accept a capitulationist attitude of 'the first battle is the final battle.”


He made the comment during centennial celebrations at the Republic of China Military Academy in Kaohsiung on Sunday. The idea of the “first battle being the last battle” is related to China's plans to take Taiwan before the U-S can get involved and was first mentioned in a 2018 assessment of China's military by the Institute for National Defense and Security Research.


The defence minister says accepting China's strategy of “the first battle being the last battle” would be “capitulationist” and Taiwan cannot afford to have such an attitude, as its defensive strategy is based on deterrence.


The Ma Ying-jeou Foundation has slammed Lai's comments. It argues Lai's comments appear to show he's inclined to seek war, but what the people need is a president who avoids war, not a president who starts one.

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