Taiwan develops new missile

2011-08-14 12:16

Taipei -Taiwan is developing a new mobile version of its supersonic "aircraft carrier killer" missile, a legislator said on Sunday, after China sparked regional concerns with sea trials of its first carrier.

Research on the development of the land-based missile, a variant of the existing Hsiungfeng (Brave Wind) III, is under way, Lin Yu-fang, a legislator who sits on the national defence committee, told AFP.

"The new land-based version will have a longer range and carry a heavier warhead," Lin said, comparing it to existing navy ship-to-ship weaponry.

He said the new missile would be deployed on mobile launchers to give it a higher chance of escaping Chinese bombing raids in the event of war.

Journalists were last week allowed their first close look at the original Hsiungfeng III ahead of the 2011 Taipei Aerospace and Defence Technology Exhibition which closed on Sunday.

Top speed

The rare public display of the weapon which researchers have dubbed the "aircraft carrier killer" was the focus of attention as China's first aircraft carrier embarked on its inaugural sea trial.

"The speed of the Hsiungfeng III is so fast that it is very hard to defend against it," Chiang Wu-ying, deputy chief of the missile research project, told reporters.

The Hsiungfeng III, already installed on Taiwanese frigates and missile boats, is designed to cruise at a maximum speed of Mach 2.0, or twice the speed of sound, with a range of up to 130km, analysts say.

Taiwan's defence ministry has expressed alarm at China's naval buildup although experts say it may still take time for the People's Liberation Army to operate its first carrier group complete with fighter jets.

Japan's defence minister called on China on Friday to explain why it needs an aircraft carrier and the United States has said it would like Beijing to explain why it needs a carrier.

Ties between China and Taiwan have improved significantly since the Beijing-friendly Ma Ying-jeou became the island's president in 2008, vowing to adopt a non-confrontational policy towards the mainland.

But China still regards Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, although the island has governed itself since the two sides separated in 1949 after a long civil war.

  • RAYSEMBE - 2011-08-14 12:31

    WHY DO RUSSIAN,UNITED STATES,FRANCE AND BRITAIN need aircraft carriers,then leave China alone,are these the only countries holding licences to build these ships.iiiieesh thats very much stupid.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-08-14 15:30

      or maybe it's because Aircraft carriers are so fracking expensive? Also, russia doesn't have an Aircraft carrier. The one china has now is an old one they bought from the Ukrain (formerly part of soviet union) and preformed a 10 year refit on it. Also, the ones france and britian have are small ones, from which only harriers and the new VTOL JSFs can take off from.

      letsee - 2011-08-14 15:41

      You are totally ignorant of geo politics, aren't you? That's why you will never be president or you would take your country to suicide.

      kiril trifonov - 2011-08-14 18:27

      Because they are democracies, unlike China you ignorant fool.

  • letsee - 2011-08-14 15:43

    This sPecific project is TOTALLY useless but make no mistake, IT TRANSFERS MONEY LEGALLY FROM THE POOR TO THE VERY RICH OWNERS OF WEAPONS MANUFACTURERS. Soon Julius Malema will work to change the regime and I will be there to help him.

      thevoicesmas - 2011-08-14 16:30

      did you just metion julles and work in the same line?

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