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Taiwan's Hsiung Feng III missile vs. China's CX-1

2014/12/02 22:20:33

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) Taiwan's main weapons research and development unit released videos and photos of the trial launch of its Hsiung Feng III and Tien Kung III missiles for the first time Tuesday, indicating that Taiwan is competing with China in developing their own supersonic anti-ship missiles

The images of the Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missiles and Tien Kung III surface-to-air missiles were unveiled by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology at its headquarters in Longtan, Taoyuan County.

Taiwan's Chengkung-class frigates and Chinchiang-class corvettes have already been fitted with the Hsiung Feng III missiles.

The 502-ton Tuo Chiang, Taiwan's first locally designed stealth missile corvette, will also be equipped with the missiles in the future, according to military sources.

The release of the images came as China also unveiled its new CX-1 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile at the recent Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, showing that both countries are placing emphasis on supersonic anti-ship missiles.

The Hsiung Feng III, with a top speed of Mach 2.5-3.0 and a range of 150 kilometers, is expected to constitute a serious threat to China's advanced vessels, including its aircraft carrier.

China's CX-1 missile, which is similar to the Russian-made P-800 Oniks, has a range of between 40 km and 280 km, with a top speed of Mach 2.8-3.0 at high altitude and Mach 2.2-2.4 at low altitude.

The CX-1, a product of the Chinese Academy of Launch Technology (CALT), as displayed at Zhuhai, indicates that the missile comes in two variants; the CX-1A ship-borne system and the CX-1B road-mobile land-based system, according to the Defense News.

Su Kuan-chuan, editor of the Taipei-based Chinese-language Defense International, said supersonic missiles, with characteristics of being able to change trajectory and fly at low altitude, are very difficult to intercept, allowing them to effectively penetrate the air-defense network of any fleet.

They are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice of many nations in their anti-ship operations, he added.

(By Chen Yi-wei, Christie Chen and Bear Lee)
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