Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Patriot PAC-2 missiles to be returned to Taiwan soon

Taiwan will soon take delivery of Patriot PAC-2 missiles that were sent to the United States for maintenance and an upgrade in 2008, Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said Monday.

"The U.S. agreed in June to deliver the upgraded missiles," Kao said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Legislative Yuan's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

The Liberty Times reported Monday that the Patriot PAC-2 missiles belonging to Taiwan have been held in the U.S. since being sent there for maintenance and an extension of their service life in early 2008.

The anti-missile weapons were originally scheduled to be sent back to Taiwan in 2009, but the U.S. Department of Transportation barred their shipment to Taiwan because they did not get a safe delivery guarantee, according to the report.

Kao said the U.S. has tightened arms delivery procedures since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001.

Noting that all countries that buy U.S. weapon systems have been subject to similarly strict safety delivery restrictions, Kao said Taiwan's PAC-2 missiles have finally cleared all relevant U.S. regulations and will be sent back soon.

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