After years of development, the military has deployed the ultra-secret Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E) land-attack cruise missile (LACM) and appears to be disguising the road-mobile launchers as a fleet of medium-sized express delivery vehicles, Internet reports have said.
The HF-2E LACM, developed by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), entered mass production under the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration and is now deployed in northern parts of the country. Three squadrons, under Missile Command’s 601 Group, are deployed in Taishan (泰山) and Sansia (三峽) in New Taipei City (新北市), and Yangmei (楊梅) in Taoyuan County, Defense News reported.
With a range of about 650km, the subsonic HF-2E is at the heart of the national counterforce strategy and would be used to launch retaliatory strikes against military targets along China’s southeastern coast. Reports last year said the deployment was part of a NT$30 billion (US$1.02 billion) program codenamed Chichun, or “Lance Hawk.”
According to images first posted on a military Web site in late January, several of the HF-2E road-mobile launchers appear to have been disguised as “Red Bird” express service vehicles, presumably to throw off Chinese intelligence. The Chinese-language United Evening News last month reported that some residents in the Yangmei and Longtan (龍潭) districts in Taoyuan County said they had seen gray cargo trucks bearing the Chinese characters for “express delivery” and a drawing of a red bird “from time to time.”
“I have never seen any courier vehicles in the neighborhood and have long wondered why cargo trucks would suddenly appear,” a street vendor told the newspaper.
An unnamed military official quoted by Defense News’ Intercepts blog last week called the deception “idiotic” and “embarrassing.”
The Ministry of National Defense has refused to comment on the program.
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on
The gig began with a nun chanting on stage, but suddenly erupted into a wall of noise unleashed by distorted guitars and screamed sutras — the unique sound of Taiwan’s first Buddhist death metal band. The nation has a vibrant metal scene, but few outfits are quite as eye-catching as Dharma (達摩樂隊), a band that aims to deliver enlightenment via the medium of throaty eight-string guitars and guttural roars. Dressed in robes — black, of course — they use traditional Sanskrit sutras as lyrics, but everything else screams death metal, from bloody face paint on stage to growled vocals, relentless riffs and
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
A petition has been launched calling for harsher drunk driving penalties in South Korea after a Taiwanese doctoral student was killed by an inebriated driver earlier this month in Seoul. On the evening of Nov. 6, 28-year-old theology student Tseng Yi-lin (曾以琳) was walking home from her professor’s house — crossing the road at a green pedestrian light — when she was hit by a drunk driver. South Korean authorities told Tseng’s parents that the driver would receive a lighter punishment “because the accident happened while the perpetrator was drunk,” the petition said. In response, friends of Tseng on Monday initiated a petition