Taiwan’s military might be upgraded with a formidable weapon from the U.S. to fend off a potential Chinese invasion.
The U.S. has just announced that it could roll out its next generation Precision Strike Missiles or PrSM earliest in 2027.
The U.S. Army said this latest PrSM will be equipped with technology to attack moving or relocatable ground or sea targets. It also plans to expand the weapon’s range and increase its lethality.
The Taiwan Strait, the sea area separating Taiwan and Chinese mainland, only spans 200 km at its widest. According to Taiwan’s Newtalk news outlet, if the U.S. provides Taiwan with this weapon, and Taiwan deploys it on the island’s west coast, the missile can reach far deep into the coastal provinces of the Chinese mainland.
Also, one of the biggest features of the PrSM is that it uses the truck-based rocket launchers called the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS. In 2021, Taiwan purchased a number of this launchers from the U.S.
One noticeable point is, the U.S. develops these precision strike missiles to replace the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System. Its range was limited under a US-former Soviet treaty in the late 80s. At the time, the missile’s maximum range was set at 499 kilometers. However, the U.S. withdrew from the treaty in 2019, citing concerns about Chinese military development. As a result, the missile range has been pushed through 500 kilometers without upper bound limits.
The U.S. added the program has finished 6 flight tests and is currently in the engineering and manufacturing development stage.
Taiwan is currently conducting a military modernization program to improve its self-defense under a potential Chinese attack, including with precision weapons like missiles.
U.S. officials have also been pushing the island to modernize its military, so it can become a “porcupine” so that China could not easily invade.