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Sky Bow III / Tien Kung III

The Tien Kung III (Sky Bow III) surface-to-air missile system was developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to counter tactical ballistic missiles. The Tien Kung III SAM is based on the earlier Tien Kung 1 and 2 and is similar in configuration. This missile makes use of the Chang Bai (Long White) mobile phased-array radar and is said to have a performance similar to that of the Patriot PAC-2. The new weapon would replace aging Hawk missile systems and be deployed for air defense missions and missile interception and homeland defense combat operations. The Tien Kung III will strengthen the density of Taiwan's anti-aircraft network and close some of the gaps in its middle- and long-range air defense capabilities. As of 2014 Taiwan’s military plans to spend NT$74.8 billion (US$2.5 billion) in the next nine years on anti-missile systems.

Taiwan's 10 October 2006 National Day celebrations, including a speech by President Chen to senior officials, had a partisan slant but produced no major "surprises." In his speech, President Chen highlighted the recent application to the UN under the name "Taiwan" and the importance of referenda, including the DPP's UN referendum, and he defended his administration's economic performance against opposition naysayers. Chen then joined guests outside the Presidential Office Building (POB) to view a military parade, the first in 16 years, that displayed publicly for the first time the Taiwan-developed Hsiung-feng III supersonic antiship missile, the Tien-kung III surface-to-air anti-tactical ballistic missile, and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The system was expected in 2007 to begin flight testing mid-2008. As of 2010 it was reported that Taiwan planned to introduce an advanced version of the indigenous SAM known as Tien Kung-III. (TK-3) some time after 2011. This system has not been offered for export.

In April 2012 media reports alleged that two advanced anti-missile systems — the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and Tien Kung-III “Sky Bow” (TK-III) air defense systems — had been deployed in eastern Taiwan to deal with the possible launch of a North Korean rocket later in the month.

Taiwan's military on 01 September 2014 denied a local media report earlier in the day that the locally developed Tien Kung III (Sky Bow III) surface-to-air missile system will be deployed on the country's Kidd-class destroyers. The report is not true, said the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, under the Ministry of National Defense, which developed the missile system. The Chinese-language Liberty Times reported Monday that the military is planning to improve the missile system on the Kidd-class destroyers, which are currently equipped with the U.S.-made surface-to-air Standard Missile-2. The newspaper said that the military was planning to deploy the Tien Kung III system on the destroyers to bolster the vessels' combat capabilities.

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Page last modified: 03-09-2014 19:52:44 ZULU