Surface Forces: May 13, 2005

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Taiwan will begin mass production of its new Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile next year. The project has been kept secret, or as secret as possible, but some details have leaked out. The Hsiung Feng III is apparently a one ton missile, with a range of 300 kilometers and a top speed of about 2,200 kilometers an hour. Low flying and using a highly effective guidance and targeting system, the missile is meant to take out Chinese warships and transports while they are still far from Taiwan. The missile can also hit land targets with its 500 pound warhead. The Hsiung Feng missiles are based on the American Harpoon design, but have been expanded considerably since the Hsiung Feng I. The missiles can also hit land targets, but until the latest version, this was not very practical because of the short range of the missiles. There is believed to be a slower, but longer range Hsiung Feng (the IIE), with a range of 500 kilometers, and cluster bomb warheads for destroying military targets on land. The Hsiung Feng III can also be launched from land, and mobile launchers for these missiles may end up being added to Taiwans defenses. 

 


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