Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) plans to procure additional Patriot III missiles from the US to beef up its air defense capabilities amid growing pressure from China.
According to a report by Taiwan News, the official purchase of an additional batch of Patriot missile systems could be made in 2025 or 2026.
Although the precise number of Patriot missiles to be purchased was not disclosed, Army Recognition stated that the air defense system would add to the seven American Patriot missiles that Taiwan acquired from 2011 to 2015.
Meanwhile, the MND recently signed an agreement with the American Institute in Taiwan for follow-up support and maintenance for the country’s Patriot missiles. Valued at $7.26 million, the deal would see Raytheon technicians dispatched to Taiwan to assist in deploying the missiles and ensuring the system’s stability.
Last month, Taiwan also announced that it will carry out trial recertification of its Patriot missiles to see if the weapon systems can be tested domestically in the future instead of sending them to the US Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The Patriot Missile
Produced by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control division, the Patriot missile is a long-range, all-altitude air defense system capable of countering tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and advanced enemy aircraft.
The system is equipped with a track-via-missile guidance system and has a maximum range of 70 kilometers (43 miles) at an altitude of over 24 kilometers (14.9 miles). Its minimum flight time is nine seconds with a maximum of three and a half minutes.
The weapon system has the latest variant called the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3), which boasts increased effectiveness against tactical ballistic and cruise missiles using advanced hit-to-kill technology.
With Ka-band millimeter wave seeker technology, the missile’s guidance system enables target destruction through kinetic energy released by hitting the target head-on.