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MND backs listing of Taiwan military technologies to be controlled

12/06/2023 01:45 PM
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The Ministry of National Defense. CNA file photo
The Ministry of National Defense. CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) The six defense-related technologies listed by the government as being among Taiwan's 22 key core technologies to face stringent controls were backed by the military for national security reasons, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Tuesday.

According to the MND, the six defense-related technologies include military-grade carbon fiber composite technology; military-grade carbon/carbon composite ablation materials technology; and a military-grade interference rejection Identification Friend or Foe system.

They also include military-grade microwave/infrared/multi-mode seeker technology; military-grade active phased array radar technology; and ramjet technology, a form of airbreathing jet engine that uses the forward motion of the engine to take in air for combustion that produces jet thrust, it said.

The six technologies made the list according to recommendations by the MND's top research unit, the National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), to safeguard national security, the MND said in a statement.

The NCSIST suggested the technologies based on two criteria -- that Taiwan had an existing advantage in domestically developing or building those technologies and that it was urgent that they be put under government protection, the MND said.

Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a research fellow at Taiwan's Institute for National Defense and Security Research, highlighted the importance of the seeker technologies.

The military-grade microwave/infrared/multi-mode seeker technology can enhance the ability of rocket/missile launch platform sensors to better identify and lock in enemy targets, including stealth aircraft, which have also been used by fighter jets, UAVs and warships, he said.

Multi-mode seekers, meanwhile, are being deployed for all kinds of rocket launchers, including the indigenous HF-3 anti-ship missile, according to Su.

Beyond the benefits for Taiwan's defense defense industry, the development of these key technologies can also support civilian purposes, such as applying the use of advanced infrared technology to autonomous vehicles, he said.

The six defense technologies were among the 22 core technologies listed by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) that will be subject to heightened controls to prevent technology leaks and bolster industrial competitiveness.

The 22 key technologies cover five industries: defense, aerospace, agriculture, semiconductors and ICT (information and communications technology), according to the NSTC.

"Key technologies" refer to technologies that, if exported to China, Macau, Hong Kong or "external hostile forces," would significantly harm national security, industrial competitiveness, or economic development, the NSTC said, citing the National Security Act.

Those found obtaining trade secrets related to national core key technologies by way of "theft, embezzlement, fraud, coercion, unauthorized reproduction, or other improper methods, or using and disclosing them after obtaining them," will face up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to NT$100 million (US$3.17 million), as stipulated in the act.

(By Wu Sheng-hung and Joseph Yeh)

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