Taiwan aiming to buy coastal defense missile system from U.S.: official

05/28/2020 05:47 PM
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Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping (張哲平) said Thursday that Taiwan will seek to purchase a coastal defense missile system from the United States to boost its anti-ship arsenal.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has not yet made a formal request to the U.S. to buy the system but is hoping to acquire it by 2023, Chang said during a legislative hearing.

In response to legislators' questions about a recent local media report on the issue, Chang said the package will comprise a Coastal Defense Cruise Missile (CDCM) system and a number of AGM-84 Harpoon missiles.

The purchase is intended to boost Taiwan's defense capability, particularly its anti-ship capacity, he said, responding to questions by Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

According to the Taiwan military, it has three types of Harpoon missiles, which are carried on its fixed-wing aircraft, ships and submarines.

If Taiwan obtains the AGM-84 Harpoon missiles, they will be deployed by the Navy as part of its coastal defense arsenal, according to the military.

Meanwhile, Chang also said Thursday that the first test flights of Taiwan's new indigenous advanced jet trainer (AJT) will be conducted in late June, as part of the country's efforts to become more self-reliant in terms of defense.

The AJT has already cleared the required pre-flight dynamic and static tests, according to the Air Force.

A prototype of the AJT, named "Brave Eagle (Yung Yin)," was unveiled in September 2019, with the goal of replacing the military's decades-old AT-3 trainer aircraft and F-5E/F lead-in fighter trainers.

According to the military, it will take delivery of 66 AJTs by 2026.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)

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