Taiwan wants to buy additional Stinger missiles from the U.S., in order to meet the air defense needs of troops, as per local media reports.
The decision comes after President Tsai Ing-wen’s announcement of conscription reform on Dec. 27. Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, males born after 2005 must serve in the military for one year.
The military has obtained various weapons such as pistols, mortars, and machine guns, and continued to take stock of other required arms, including Stinger missiles, Liberty Times reported. The person familiar with the matter did not disclose the number of missiles to be purchased, or when a budget would be set.
According to the Ministry of National Defense's budget for next year, the Navy intends to buy 500 Stinger missiles, of which 250 will be given to the Army, and 250 of which will be handed over to the Marines or other naval forces, the report said. All deliveries are expected by 2025.
Last week, 71 Chinese aircraft including fighter jets and drones entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone in 24 hours, the largest reported incursion to date.
The Wall Street Journal reported about a month ago that Taiwan’s government is facing delays in arms shipments from the U.S. of up to $19 billion. Among the delayed weapons are Javelin anti-tank weapons, Stinger surface-to-air missiles, and M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers.