Tue, Mar 12, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Main missile systems to be tested

ACTION PLAN:The minister of National Defense has said that the schedule for this year’s military exercises will be announced next week and will include troop operations

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

The military yesterday said that two main missile systems -— the US-made Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) surface-to-air missile and the locally developed Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) “Brave Wind” surface-to-surface supersonic anti-ship missile — would be tested in this year’s annual series of Han Kuan exercises.

Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Hsu Pei-shan (許培山) made the remarks during a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee in Taipei.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-Fang (林郁方) said the Ministry of National Defense announced in late January that this year’s Han Kuan military exercises would include a major live-fire drill in Penghu County (澎湖) sometime next month.

However, the ministry said earlier this month that the proposed live-fire drill was canceled.

“Whether the tense regional situation in the Korean Peninsula or eased cross-strait tensions contributed to the cancelation of the live-fire drills is not known,” Lin sad.

Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) has said that this year’s Han Kuan exercises, for which a full schedule is expected to be announced next week, will combine troop operations and live-fire drills.

“Drills will be conducted not only in Penghu County, but also in other places ... It is an all-round military exercise, so the drill schedule should be announced after all arrangements are made.”

Meanwhile, Lin said that although the ministry planned to procure two decommissioned Perry-class frigates from the US next year or in 2015, the frigates are a product of the 1970s and alternatives should be sought.

Lin said CSBC Corp, Taiwan (CSBC) could develop a new type of warship that has better capabilities than the Perrys.

Furthermore, the production line of US-made Standard Missile 1 (SM-1), which Perry-class frigate are equipped with, will be suspended soon, Lin said.

“If a new type of frigate could be developed in Taiwan, it could adopt indigenous weapon systems and ammunition, and also create jobs for the country,” Lin said.

Kao said the navy proposed to decommission eight Knox-class frigates. Two Perry-class frigates to be procured from the US would replace two Knox-class frigates, while the military hoped CSBC could build six warships for the navy.

The two Perry-class frigates are planned to be delivered by “hot ship transfer,” but if the two had been decommissioned too long, the ministry would not make the deal, the minister added.

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