Fri, May 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Ministry to make missiles

The Ministry of National Defense plans to make 130 supersonic anti-ship missiles beginning next year to counter China's naval buildup, according to a report in the Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times). The ministry drafted the five-year project called "Chui Feng (追風)" (Pursuing the Wind) and plans to submit it to the legislature for approval later this year, the daily said on Wednesday. The Hsiung Feng III missiles, designed to cruise at a maximum speed of mach 2.0 with a range of up to 130km, would be installed on frigates and patrol boats, it said. Developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, the missiles would be used to fend off Chinese attacks supposed to be launched from the Varyag -- a stripped-down former Soviet aircraft carrier bought by China -- should war break out in the Taiwan Strait, the paper said. Taiwan would become the third country in Asia to be armed with supersonic anti-ship missiles, it said. According to an earlier report in Jane's Defence Weekly, the Hsiung Feng III can be fitted with a variety of guidance systems and function as an anti-ship, land-attack or anti-radar missile. The ministry declined to comment on the report.

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