In a statement Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said, it was considering sourcing weapons from alternative locations, other than the United States, after Washington informed of delays in deliveries of an artillery system due to a “crowded” production line.
The development comes at a time when the United States is ramping up its arms shipments, including artillery systems, to Ukraine, which unlike Taiwan, it does not have a legal mandate to provide assistance to defend itself.
In 2021, the United States had said, it had approved the potential sale of 40 155mm M109A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer artillery systems to Taiwan which were scheduled for delivered by 2023.
According to Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, because of the “crowded” production line for the M109A6, Washington has differed the date of delivery to until 2026, at the earliest.
As a result, Taiwan is considering other precision and long-range alternative weapons systems including truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp which are called High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, is rapidly modernizing its military. In the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, TSMC, the world’s top chip producer, could fall in Chinese hands, and cause a gigantic disruption in global supply chains across a wide spectrum of industries.