posted on Mar, 5 2004 @ 07:28 AM
From today's Washington Times:
"The Pentagon has signed off on selling Taiwan advanced warships equipped with Aegis battle-management systems, defense officials said.
It is the first time the Bush administration has agreed to offer Aegis-equipped warships to the island, which are expected to be controversial
because they form the base for advanced U.S. sea-based missile defenses.
In 2001, the administration offered to sell Taiwan Kidd-class destroyers, which, while capable, do not have the same capabilities as the Aegis
The Aegis battle-management system is built around a large, phased-array radar that allows the system to track hundreds of targets over hundreds
of miles, including satellites in space.
It is the core of the Navy's sea-based missile-defense system, which is expected to be deployed next year. The system uses the Standard SM-3
missile as an interceptor.
Richard Lawless, the deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, said last month that the Aegis sale to Taiwan was under consideration.
The need for Taiwanese missile defenses is highlighted by the growing Chinese missile deployments opposite the island. Beijing currently has 450
to 500 missiles targeted on Taiwan".