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Taiwan declines to comment on report of new missile development

2012/04/10 20:09:24

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) Taiwan's defense ministry declined to comment Tuesday on a foreign report that it is planning to develop a new type of anti-ship missile.

The Ministry of National Defense "would not comment" on such an issue, spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he told CNA.

Luo was asked to respond to a Defense News report that "Taiwan is planning to build an extended-range anti-ship missile."

The weekly U.S. newspaper described the weapon as a possible variant of the locally developed Hsiung Feng (Brave Wind) III anti-ship missile.

The new missile will be deployed on the eastern side of Taiwan and aimed toward the Taiwan Strait and China's coast, the report said, citing a Taiwan defense industry source.

The report also quoted a defense ministry contact as saying that there were "plans to deploy the Hsiung Feng 3 on both coasts" but an extended-range variant was "not in the works."

Asked about the report, Luo declined to comment on it, saying only that the ministry remains committed to defense strategies aimed at safeguarding the country.

The Hsiung Feng III missile is manufactured by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology in Taoyuan -- the ministry's main research and development unit.

The weapon was first unveiled in 2007 at a National Day military parade in Taiwan. The missile's capabilities came under heavy public discussion last year when China was preparing to launch its first aircraft carrier.

(By Elaine Hou)