The US this year began delivery of submarine-launched harpoon missiles, the Ministry of National Defense said in a report to the Legislative Yuan earlier this week.
The anti-ship cruise missiles are to become operational on Taiwan’s two Dutch-built combat-capable submarines, the report stated.
The NT$5.87 billion (US$195.46 million) arms procurement deal, which was signed in 2008 and is to be finalized in 2016, aims to extend the nation’s undersea strike capability, the ministry said.
The deal reportedly includes 32 UGM-84L submarine-launched Harpoon Block II missiles along with two UTM-84L exercise missiles and two weapons control systems, according to media reports.
The supersonic sea-skimming missiles, which have a range of about 125km, would bring targets along the Chinese coast within range, media reports said.
The ministry’s report outlined its plans to upgrade all three of the nation’s Patriot-II anti-missile batteries and purchase three Patriot III batteries worth more than NT$179 billion between 2007 and 2021.
Two of the three batteries have recently been upgraded, the report said.
The upgrading of the Patriot anti-missile batteries is expected to improve the nation’s capability to fend off a ballistic missile attack by China, it added.
Meanwhile, the nation has also begun taking delivery of new fixed-wing maritime patrol aircraft along with attack and utility helicopters.
The ministry’s report said US$7.6 billion worth of new equipment and aircraft designed to strengthen Taiwan’s defense has begun filling its arsenals this year.
The list includes 12 refurbished Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, 30 Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters and 60 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters.
Three P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and six Apache attack helicopters have already been delivered, while the UH-60M utility helicopters are set to arrive in November next year, the report said.
Looking ahead, the ministry said Taiwan could face more hurdles in procuring advanced weapons and military equipment from the US, as Washington-Beijing relations continue to intensify.
The military will therefore continue to push for the transfer of production technologies and know-how from the US under various industrial cooperation programs to enable Taiwanese production of weapons and equipment, it said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Hsia (夏立言) said on Thursday that a second batch of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters is set to arrive in Taiwan by Thursday.
“The helicopters have been loaded aboard a ship for delivery from the US,” Hsia said.
However, Hsia added that if the US has not yet announced a service resumption for this type of helicopter by that date, the newly delivered choppers will be grounded for safety checks immediately after their arrival.
The ministry received six Apache choppers early last month, all of which have been grounded for safety checks since Dec. 17, after the ministry received a notification of a malfunction in a helicopter of the same type used by the US Army.
The US and Taiwan are the only two nations using the latest model of Apache helicopters.
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung