As Reuters reported on April 22, to strike enemy air bases, Taiwan is developing new advanced missiles and drones.
Tensions with China have reached a new level, with several Chinese military aircraft breaching Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
In the face of China’s aggression, the island’s defense ministry said in a report last month that Taiwan intends to increase its annual missile production capacity up to nearly 500 this year. Last year, it also approved 240 billion TWD ($8.20 billion USD) in additional military spending in five years.
Reuters reviewed a copy of a report to parliament this week, in which the military-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology detailed missiles and drones it is developing.
One of those new missiles is the land-attack missile, Hsiung Sheng, with has an estimated range of up to 1,000 kilometers. It has two kinds of warheads, high-explosive and fragmentation. Also, it can take down enemy air bases, cruise missiles, and drones.
Chieh Chung, a researcher at the National Policy Foundation, said, “It could greatly boost the national army’s capacity to delay or paralyze the Communist forces’ pace of an invasion of Taiwan, making it hard for them to achieve a rapid war.”
He added that the Hsiung Sheng could reach most bases under the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command.
Another advanced surface-to-air missile, the Sky Bow III, is capable of destroying ballistic and cruise missiles as well as fighter jets.
The defense ministry earlier declared plans to produce unidentified “attack drones” with a target of 48 per year.
Under the “one-China” policy, Beijing repeatedly claims Taiwan is an inalienable part of the country and that it would take Taiwan by force if necessary.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has prioritized military modernization and defense spending.