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U.S. Picks Taiwan for First Armed Drones Sale Under Eased Rules

  • Approved sale is the latest in a series of weapons purchases
  • Move from Trump administration comes as U.S. votes in election
Aircraft Displays And Exhibits At The Singapore Airshow
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
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The U.S. will sell Taiwan armed Reaper drones in a $600 million deal that will likely further anger China and help lock in a shift in American military support for Taipei during the next presidential administration.

The State Department on Tuesday approved the proposed sale of the four weapons-ready MQ-9B drones from General Atomics -- capable of carrying laser and GPS-guided munitions -- along with radar, sensors and ground control stations for flying the aircraft. It was the first time the U.S. has approved the sale of armed drones since the Trump administration eased export restrictions in July.