Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Wan Chien cluster missile production date moved ahead

SWORDS FIGHTING:By starting mass production of the long-range missiles years ahead of the initial date, billions in costs may be saved, a legislator said

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan will mass-produce Wan Chien cluster missiles starting in 2015, two or three years ahead of schedule, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said yesterday.

Lin said in a press release that he had been recently briefed by the Ministry of National Defense of the change to the production schedule, which he said could save the treasury NT$2 billion (US$50 million).

The Wan Chien missiles, whose name literally means “10,000 swords,” were developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology and are seen as a weapon that could help the air force strike long-range targets, such as airports in inland China.

Lin said that missile integration and testing on the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo, also known as an Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), was completed in March.

In addition, the air force finished assessing how the missiles would meet its operational requirements in May and completed a systematic evaluation of the project last month, Lin added.

The air force has fitted the Wan Chien missiles on 40 upgraded IDF’s at the Taiwan Air Force Base, Lin said, adding that a total of 127 IDFs, scheduled to be modernized by 2017, will be equipped with the missiles by then.

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