An extended-range version of the Tien Chien II “Sky Sword” air-to-air missile has undergone successful testing and is to arm the air force’s Indigenous Defense Fighter jets, a defense official said on condition of anonymity.
Tien Chien II, or TC-2, was originally developed as a family of air-to-air missiles that could be launched from army, navy and air force platforms.
The new TC-2C missiles have an extended effective range of 100km, up from 60km, as well as increased precision, the official said, adding that the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology performed the tests.
Photo: Yu Tai-lang, Taipei Times
The Indigenous Defense Fighter jets, which equip two air force tactical fighter wings, have undergone fleetwide improvements that increased their weapons load from two to four Tien Chien II missiles, the official said, adding that carrying four TC-2C missiles significantly increases the firepower of the jets.
The Chungshan Institute is also developing the TC-2N, a dedicated naval version of the Tien Chien II missile that could be fired from warships’ vertical launch systems or other systems, the official said.
The TC-2N is the planned successor for the MIM-72 Chaparral missiles that the navy’s La Fayette-class frigates are equipped with, the official said.
The navy would begin replacing the missiles from 2020, Navy Chief of Staff Lee Tsung-hsiao (李宗孝) last week told the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
The TC-2N would be a vast improvement on the obsolete and short-range MIM-72, sources said.
The Chungshan Institute has been improving the performance of all Tien Chien II missile variants, the official said, adding that the air force and navy were happy with the new missile prototypes, but the army has not shown interest.
Chinese-language Up Media yesterday said that the Ministry of National Defense is soon to declare the extended-range variant of Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E) cruise missiles ready for mass production.
The HF-2E extended-range surface-to--surface cruise missile has an effective range that exceeds 1,000km, compared with 600km for the older HF-2E.
The weapon was successfully tested for deployment in 2008, and its performance and range have been improved since then, the Web site said.
The ministry is considering three proposals to field and integrate the HF-2E extended-range missiles, and is to submit a brief to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for her consideration before initiating mass production, it said.
The first proposal would see the existing 240 HF-2E missiles upgraded to the current standard, Up Media said, adding that officials consider this to be the quickest way to upgrade the missile arsenal.
The second proposal would see the navy field a mixture of the older HF-2E and the extended range variant, it said, adding the third proposal is to increase the overall number of HF-2E missiles in the military’s arsenal, a plan that could be implemented in conjunction with the above two.
Tsai would choose from the options after the ministry submits its brief, it said.
‘NO SURRENDER’: A blockade or outlying island seizure would be an act of war, and China’s drills last month have emboldened Taipei in its response plans, an official said The Republic of China Army Command Headquarters has agreed to purchase 5,000 Kestrel close-range anti-armor missiles worth NT$400 million (US$12.63 million) from the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, according to the military’s latest arms purchase bid notice. The army asked the institute to complete the order within 13 months, a military source said on condition of anonymity. Kestrel missiles are designed to penetrate armored vehicles and are used in anti-surface warfare, as they feature optical sights and night vision, and can be operated in all weather conditions. The missile has a 400m range, or a 150m range when used for breaching brick
IF THE CHIPS ARE DOWN: The US secretary of state warned that a disruption to the supply of Taiwanese semiconductors would play havoc with the global economy If Taiwan were attacked, the global economy would face devastation, as that is where most of the world’s semiconductors are produced, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday. In an interview that aired on the 60 Minutes television program, Blinken was asked whether instability across the Taiwan Strait would be felt around the world. Blinken said that China has been increasingly aggressive against Taiwan, posing a threat to peace and stability in the region, while economically the world would feel the effects of such aggression. Blinken was interviewed for the program after meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi
‘ABSURD’: UN Resolution 2758 expelled the Chiang Kai-Shek government without mentioning Taipei, something the Chinese minister did not acknowledge, Taipei said Taiwan yesterday criticized Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) for “intentionally misinterpreting” a 1971 UN resolution to misrepresent Taiwan’s status to the global community. In his address on Saturday to the UN General Assembly, Wang cited Resolution 2758 as a basis for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. He said that Beijing considers Taiwan an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times.” “Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait... Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” Wang said. General Assembly Resolution 2758
The UK is determined to work with its allies to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself, British Prime Minister Liz Truss said on Sunday, a pledge that drew expressions of gratitude from Taipei. “What I’ve been clear about is that all of our allies need to make sure Taiwan is able to defend itself, and that is very, very important,” Truss said in a CNN interview, when asked whether the UK was willing to match the US’ pledge last week to defend Taiwan militarily in the event of an attack by China. Truss said her government was working with its G7 allies,