Sun, Sep 02, 2007 - Page 1 News List

MND budget proves new cruise missile is in the plan

By Hsu Shao-hsuen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Next year's budget request submitted by the Ministry of Defense (MND) to the Legislature yesterday officially revealed for the first time that the nation is acquiring the Hsiung Feng 3, (雄風三型) or Brave Wind 3 anti-ship missile.

In addition,the MND's Missile Command's increasing expenditure is being seen as an important indicator that large numbers of cruise missile,code-named Hsiung Feng-IIE ,will start production and deployment next year.

Although the defense budget has reached 3 percent of Taiwan's GDP, the military still complains of a lack of money in a report on the five year plan to overhaul the armed forces submitted to the legislature.

The report states that the defense budget still shows a shortfall of NT$153.5 billion (US$4.64 billion) for the period between next year and 2013.

A report by the ministry on China's military strength said that Taiwan's growing democratic awareness and increasing pro-localization stance has meant that China has followed Chinese President Hu Jintao's (胡錦濤) policy to deal with Taiwan by "striving for talks while at the same time preparing to fight."

The report stated that although China's official defense budget is US$44.9 billion, the actual figure is closer to US$85 billion to US$125 billion, making Chinese military expenditure second only to that of the US.

Taiwan's military overhaul means there are plans to acquire a satellite information gathering and communication jamming systems next year and to complete studies of a low flying anti-tactical ballistic missile system this year, the report said.

Next year, the navy will begin purchases of submarine launched anti-ship missiles and develop remote-controlled mines, while the army will purchase a new type of helicopter, it said, adding that Japan will become a new focus in the country's military exchanges.

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