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DEFENSE/Mobile air defense system to debut in missile defense drill: Source

04/04/2024 09:48 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, April 4 (CNA) A mobile air defense system manufactured by Taiwan's weapons developer will make its debut on April 9 during a live-fire exercise in Pingtung County, according to a source in the country's military with knowledge of the matter.

The drill, slated for April 9 at the Jiupeng Base operated by Taiwan's state-owned weapons developer National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), will test an assortment of missile systems, including a missile known as the "field air defense weapons system."

The system is a car-mounted variant of the Tien Chien II (TC-2) air-to-air missile, according to the source.

A total of three missiles of the TC-2 variant will be launched during the drill, the source added.

Developed by NCSIST, it is a surface-launched version of the TC-2 and consists of a launch platform, a car-mounted array radar system, and a missile vehicle and is controlled by a command post vehicle, according to the source.

The surface-launched TC-2 variant was delivered to the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan's official name) Army in May 2023 and replaces the outgoing MIM-72A/M48 Chaparral surface-to-air missiles, the source said.

The TC-2 variant has a range of 15 kilometers and can be deployed against rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft, drones and cruise missiles, they said.

The NCSIST plans to test the field air defense weapons system once a year in live-fire exercises, the source said.

Other missiles in Taiwan's arsenal to join the drill include AGM-114 Hellfire, Thunderbolt-2000 multiple launch rocket system, and FIM-92 Stinger missiles, they said.

Chou Yu-ping (周宇平), a retired ROC Air Force officer, told CNA that the surface-launched TC-2 missiles can beef up Taiwan's mid-range air defense capability and offer more cover for ground troops by countering air raids.

Shu Hsiao-huang (舒孝煌), an associate research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said the surface-launched TC-2 can be used in combination with shorter-range Stinger missiles to cover more bases in Taiwan's low to mid-altitude air defense, while the domestically developed Tien Kung family of air defense missiles and the MIM-104 Patriot missiles can be deployed against high and ultra-high altitude targets.

(By Matt Yu, Wu Su-wei and Sean Lin)

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