The Republic of China Navy (RoCN) has deployed Hsiung Feng III (Brave Wind III) supersonic anti-ship missiles at a newly constructed naval facility in the central city of Taichung, local media reported in late August.
According to several Taiwanese news outlets, the RoCN has built a missile base and deployed an unknown number of Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles there to enhance coastal defences. The missiles are reportedly operated by elements of the service’s Hai Feng Shore Based Anti-Ship Missile Group.
The Hsiung Feng III is a supersonic missile developed and manufactured by the state-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST). It carries a 120 kg armour-piercing fragmentation warhead and is capable of directing most of the explosive energy downward once it has penetrated a ship’s hull to maximise damage.
The missile adopts a similar configuration to ramjet-powered missiles such as China’s YJ-12/CM-302 and the Russia’s 3M80 Moskit and Kh-31. Very little information is available on the weapon, but it reported possesses a range of up to 220 nautical miles.
NCSIST also developed the subsonic Hsiung-Feng II missile that is armed with a 225 kg high-explosive semi-armour-piercing warhead and the improved Hsiung-Feng IIB features dual global positioning system/inertial navigation system guidance, with the latter thought to be capable of performing complex terminal flight manoeuvres.
Both missiles have now been widely deployed across the RoCN’s surface fleet, with the Cheng Kung- and Kang Ding-class frigates and Tuo Jiang-class stealth corvettes currently armed with a mix of these missiles.
NCSIST has also developed a road-mobile Missile Launch Vehicle for the Hsiung-Feng II and Hsiung-Feng III missiles, which would be the likely configuration for the missiles deployed at the RoCN’s Taichung-based facility.
Taiwan has been increasing the production of many of its indigenous weapons systems – including other missiles such as the Tien Kung III (Sky Bow III) surface-to-air missile – following an announcement by President Tsai Ing-wen in February to boost the island’s defence against an increasingly assertive China.
by Jr Ng