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Hsiung Feng III

The Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology Second Institute is engaged in follow-up research and development projects, including preparatory research and development of the Hsiung Feng III anti-ship and/or land attack cruise missile weapon system, concerning which few details have been made public. When the missile was unveiled, it was revealed as having solid propellant booster rockets and a ramjet sustainer engine.

The Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile has a range of 130km, and perhaps even as much as 300km. It is a more powerful anti-ship weapon than the Sunburn anti-ship missiles that China has bought from Russia. In 2002, President Chen ordered that a budget of more than NT$20 billion be allotted to research and development on this advanced weapon. If US and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators do not create further obstacles, the Hsiung Feng III might serve as a tool for attacking Chinese aircraft carriers.

In January 2005 it was reported that Taiwan successfully test-fired the Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missile. Several Hsiung Feng III missiles were fired from southern Taiwan in the direction of the Pacific in December 2004 in the presence of Defense Minister Lee Jye. The missile has been under development for a decade and failed several early tests

The Hsiung Feng III has a range of 300 kilometers (187.5 miles), enough to hit China, 160 kilometers (100 miles) across the Taiwan Strait. The new missile is believed to outperform a similar weapon in China's arsenal, the Russian-made Sunburn.

In January 2008 Taiwan for the first time installed home-developed anti-ship missiles on a warship in a significant boost of its naval defence against rival China. The supersonic Hsiung-feng (Brave Wind) 3 missiles were seen on the Perry-class Cheng Kung frigate in the southern port of Tsoying. The United Daily News quoted commander-in-chief Admiral Wang Li-shen as saying that defence authorities will determine how to deploy the missiles and on which warships after testing is completed. It also cited an unnamed navy official as saying that the authorities hope to wrap up testing by the end of the year. Analysts say the Hsiung-feng 3 can be fitted with a variety of guidance systems and can function as a ship-to-ship, land-attack or anti-radar missile. With a range of at least 130 kilometers (80 miles), the Hsiung-feng 3 has been designed to counter the Russia-made SS-N-22 Sunburn bought by China.

Taiwan first unveiled the Hsiung-feng 3 missiles to the public in a rare military parade on October 10, 2007, which was seen as a reminder to China that it has the weaponry to defend itself. Beijing has repeatedly warned of an invasion should Taiwan declare formal independence. In his New Year speech, Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian warned that China had increased the number of tactical ballistic missiles targeting Taiwan from 200 in 2000 to more than 1,300 by 2008.

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