A locally developed supersonic anti-ship missile enhances the country’s defense capabilities in the face of China’s military expansion, a lawmaker said yesterday.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said the Hsiung Feng (“Brave Wind”) III (HF-3) missile was an important part of Taiwan’s arsenal because China is modernizing its naval fleet and preparing to commission its first aircraft carrier.
Deploying the weapon on military boats and frigates “will strengthen our combat capabilities,” Lin told media at Keelung Harbor after inspecting a patrol boat that has recently been outfitted with the HF-3.
Along with three other lawmakers, Lin also gave the thumbs up to the navy’s combat readiness after witnessing a drill on board the Keelung-based Chin Chiang missile patrol boat to see how military personnel would launch the missiles in the event of war.
With a range of about 300km, the supersonic weapon has been dubbed the “carrier killer.”
It is manufactured by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology in Taoyuan, the defense ministry’s main research and development unit.
The HF-3 was first unveiled in 2007 at a National Day military parade in Taiwan.
Also at Keelung Harbor are a fleet of three frigates that recently completed a goodwill voyage to some of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.
It was reported in the local media that a Chengkung-class frigate, among the fleet, sailed to disputed Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island (太平島) in the South China Sea, during its 50-day voyage that concluded late last month.
Asked about the report, Lin said the journey of the Chengkung-class frigate, which is equipped with HF-3 missiles, to Taiping Island, amid growing tensions in the region, served as a deterrent to neighboring countries that might attempt to enter Taiwan’s territory.
The South China Sea region, thought to be rich in oil deposits and marine biodiversity, is claimed either entirely or in part by Taiwan Brunei, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the three frigates at Keelung Harbor will be open to the public from tomorrow until Sunday. Visitors will have an opportunity to see how the navy promotes ties with Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.