Thu, Dec 06, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Chungshan Institute showcases defensive weapons

Staff writer, with CNA

An official talks about a Taiwan-made unmanned aerial vehicle yesterday at a military-civil dual-use science and technology exhibition held by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology at the Lung-Yuan Research Park in Taoyuan County’s Lungtan Township.

Photo: CNA

The Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology yesterday showcased a variety of its inventions, including weapon systems, to be commissioned next year to beef up defense capabilities.

Among those on display at the military’s main research and development unit in Taoyuan was the Thunderbolt-2000 multiple launch rocket system, which is set to be commissioned next year, the Ministry of National Defense said.

The Thunderbolt-2000 is a high-mobility system comprised of a launcher that can be loaded with MK45 rockets that have a range of 45km, said Wu Chi-hsien, a member of the development team.

The system, aimed at beefing up Taiwan’s anti-landing operation capabilities, will be used to replace the aging Kung Feng VI rocket system that has been in service for 30 years, the military has said.

The Kung Feng VI rocket system can only launch rockets with a range with 15km, Wu added.

Another invention that will be commissioned was the institute’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system.

“[The UAVs] can conduct surveillance operations day and night,” said Patience Wu (吳培欣), deputy general director of the institute’s aeronautical systems research division.

According to the ministry, the army has taken delivery of 32 such UAVs.

Asked whether the institute will develop UAVs that can be armed, Wu said “we are working toward that direction,” but declined to elaborate further, due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

Also being displayed was the Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missile, which is described as an “aircraft carrier killer.”

Having been fitted on Taiwan’s naval frigates, the weapon, with a range of 150km, is the third generation of the locally developed missiles, said Chou Sheng-nan, chief engineer of the Hsiung Feng project.

Asked whether the institute is developing a new variant of the Hsiung Feng III that has a longer range, Chou said the idea is under assessment as part of efforts to bolster national defense capabilities.

More than 100 inventions were displayed to showcase the institute’s achievements from joint research projects with private companies on numerous areas, including “green” technologies.

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