The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied that it had decided to halve the production of an indigenous air-to-ground missile because of an offer by the US to sell Taiwan joint direct attack munitions (JDAM).
During a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-Fang (林郁方) said the development of the air-to-ground missile, known as the Wan Chien (“Ten Thousand Swords”), was nearing completion, but that the air force was planning to halve production, ostensibly because the US was proposing to sell it JDAMs.
Deputy Minister of National Defense Kao Kuang-chi (高廣圻) said the ministry was still evaluating the number of missiles to be produced and whether JDAMs would be bought.
A US$5.85 billion US notification to Congress in September 2011 for upgrading Taiwan’s 145 F-16A/Bs included a variety of JDAM kits.
Kao said there were no problems fitting the Wan Chien missiles on the upgraded Ching-kuo Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs) and that the air force was committed to installing those missiles on the IDFs.