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Tien-Kung III, PAC-3 missile systems deployed in northern Taiwan: Source

01/30/2023 09:15 PM
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A mobile Tien-Kung III missile launcher. CNA file photo
A mobile Tien-Kung III missile launcher. CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) Domestically-produced Tien-Kung III surface-to-air defense systems and U.S.-made MIM-104F (PAC-3) Patriot missiles have been deployed along Taiwan's northern coast, a military source said Monday.

With Taiwan's two remaining MIM-23 Hawk air defense systems decommissioned at the end of last year, the military has since replaced it with the Tien-Kung III and PAC-3 Patriot defense systems, a military official told CNA on condition of anonymity.

The military has since deployed the missile systems across Taiwan's northern coast, the official said.

The Tien-Kung III missile system, developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), was commissioned to replace the aging U.S.-made Hawk system, according to information on the NCSIST's website.

The military official, however, declined to disclose exactly where the missile systems had been deployed.

Meanwhile, Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a research fellow at the Taiwan government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research, told CNA the PAC-3 system was designed to intercept Chinese Dong-Feng 11 and Dong-Feng 15 ballistic missiles.

Taiwan has also ordered the range-lengthening Patriot PAC-3 missile segment enhancement (MSE) from Washington, Su said.

The U.S.-made missile systems will complement the domestic-built Tien-Kung III to bolster Taiwan's air defenses, he added.

The Ministry of National Defense announced in March 2021 that it had signed an agreement to purchase the PAC-3 MSE, which is to be delivered in two batches in 2025 and 2026.

(By Matt Yu and Ko Lin)

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