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US Approves Arming Taiwan With $360M in Loitering Munitions

The US State Department has approved the sale of loitering munitions to Taiwan for a total of $360 million.

The sale includes 291 ALTIUS 600M-V aerial systems and related equipment for an estimated $300 million.

An Altius 600M-V comprises a loitering munition with an extensible warhead and electro-optical/infrared camera.

The 27-pound (12-kilogram) system has an endurance of up to four hours.

Related equipment includes launch systems, ground control systems, training drones, and associated support, including spares and battery chargers.

Switchblade 300s

Also approved is the sale of Switchblade 300 anti-personnel and anti-armor loitering missile systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $60.2 million. 

Taiwan requested 720 Switchblade 300s and 101 SB300 fire control systems.

The 2.5-kilogram (5.5-pound) AeroVironment system has a flight endurance of 15 minutes and a range of 10 kilometers (6 miles).

“This proposed sale serves US 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 Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated.

“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.”

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