The Executive Yuan is next week expected to approve a special bill drafted by the Ministry of National Defense for missile production, with a projected budget cap of NT$240 billion (US$8.67 billion), a Cabinet source said yesterday.
The Executive Yuan is expected to pass the bill on Thursday next week at the earliest and would forward it to the Legislative Yuan, with a note to prioritize its ratification, the source said.
The bill is offering NT$40 billion more than expected for missile manufacturing, the source added.
Photo provided by the Presidential Office
Another political party source said that the special act and its budget would be given top priority in the new legislative session.
Taiwan has an urgent need to increase its autonomous defense capabilities, the party source said, adding that the military has asked the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to step up the development process so that precision-strike and long-range missiles could start mass production.
The military’s current missile arsenal includes the ground-based Tien Kung-IIB (Sky Bow) and the Hsiung Feng-IIE (Brave Wind) missiles, alongside the air-launched Wan Chien (Thousand Swords) missiles, all of which have a range of between 250km and 600km, the political source said.
The air-launched version of the HF-III, and other missiles with a range exceeding 1,000km, including longer-range variants of the HF-IIE and the Sky Bow-III missiles, are currently in development, the source said.
A hypersonic missile program that has not yet been named, and a mid-range air-launched cruise missile program under the name Yun Feng, are also being developed, the source added.
In other developments, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited the air force’s Air Defense and Missile Command, the Armaments Bureau’s 209 Factory and the Navy Fleet Command’s Hai Feng Brigade.
Tsai urged the brigade’s second squadron, which was established last month, to give their all in the Han Kuang exercises next week.
The squadron includes mobile platforms that would deliver HF-III missiles, and its performance in the Han Kuang drills would help the military evaluate the squadron’s combat capabilities, a source said.
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