Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) Republic of China Premier Vincent Siew stressed on Tuesday that national defense should depend on the nation itself, and that the government will back the development of the indigenous anti-ballistic missile system (ATBM).
Responding to a query raised by Legislator Chou Hsi-wei (KMT-Taipei County), Siew said that whether or not the ROC joins the US proposed Theater Missile Defense (TMD) system is still being evaluated.
He said that the government should develop all necessary weapons for defense purposes, and that it will do whatever it can to implement the anti-missile system developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CIST), the military's research and development organization.
Chao Yao-ming, who is in charge of the low-altitude anti-missile system project, confirmed reports that the system developed by the CIST will have a function similar to that of the US-made Patriot III missile. The ATBM can effectively intercept Beijing-made low altitude M-9 guided missiles and M-11 cruise missiles, he claimed.
While a long-range early-warning radar system is still under way, the CIST is hopeful that the ATBM system will enter mass production by 2005, Chao added. (By Edward Chen)
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