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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Military research unit showcases weapons to be commissioned

ROC Central News Agency

2012/12/05 16:50:46

Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) The military's main research and development unit on Wednesday showcased a variety of its inventions, including weapon systems to be commissioned next year to beef up the country's defense capabilities.

Among those on display at a research park of the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology in Taoyuan was the Leiting (Thunderbolt)-2000 multiple launch rocket system, which is set to be commissioned next year, the Ministry of National Defense said.

The Thunderbolt-2000 is a high-mobility system that comprises a launcher that can be loaded with MK45 rockets, which have a range of 45 kilometers, said Wu Chi-hsien, a member of the team responsible for developing the system.

The system, aimed at beefing up Taiwan's anti-landing operation capabilities, will be used to replace the aging Kung Feng VI rocket system that has been in service for 30 years, according to the military.

The Kung Feng VI rocket system can only launch rockets with a range with 15 km, Wu added.

Another invention at the event that will be commissioned by the military was the institute's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system.

"(The UAVs) can conduct surveillance operations during day and night," said Patience Wu, deputy general director of the institute's aeronautical systems research division.

According to the ministry, the Army has taken delivery of 32 such UAVs.

Asked whether the institute will develop UAVs that can be armed, Wu said "we are working toward that direction," but declined to elaborate further, due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Also being displayed was the Hsiungfeng III supersonic anti-ship missile, which is described as an "aircraft carrier killer."

Having been fitted on Taiwan's naval frigates, the weapon, with a range of 150 km, is the third generation of the locally developed Hsiungfeng missiles, said Chou Sheng-nan, chief engineer of the Hsiungfeng project.

Asked whether the institute is developing a new variant of the Hsiungfeng III that has a longer range, Chou said the idea is under assessment as part of efforts to bolster Taiwan's defense capabilities.

More than 100 inventions were displayed at the event to showcase the institute's research achievements in cooperation with private companies on numerous projects including green technologies.

(By Elaine Hou)

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