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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Xiongfeng 2E / Hsiung Feng-IIE (HF-2E) (Brave Wind)

Xiongfeng 2E / Hsiung Feng-IIE (HF-2E) The HF-2E land attack cruise missile is not a derivative of the entirely unrelated Hsiung Feng 2 HF-2 (Brave Wind) anti-ship missile. The "HF-2E" designation was intentional disinformation to divert attention away from the actual nature of the project, a long range offensive cruise missile. The HF-2E is actually a completely different design, said to serve a similar function in Taiwan's military as the US Navy Tomahawk (RGM-109) cruise missile.

In 2001 it was reported that a land attack cruise missile, designated Hsiung Feng 2E, based on the HF-2, had a range of 1,000km. Though only in its development stages, the HF-2E will be a major advance for Tai-wan. For the first time, Taiwan will be able to attack targets as far away as Shanghai. The missile's range is 600km, which means Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and the Three Gorges Dam would be within its reach. The Hsiung Feng IIE gives Taiwan the power needed for "offshore engagement."

On 05 June 2005 it was repoted that Taiwan had successfully test fired its first long range cruise missile. The exact date of the test was unclear, though there was speculation that it may have been in March 2005. The Hsiung Feng cruise missile, developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, was reported to have a range of 1,000 kilometers. Defense Minister Lee Jye witnessed the test firing of the missile from Jiupeng / Chiupeng military base in southern Pingtung county. The missile flew more than 500 kilometers before hitting its target.

A small number of the cruise missiles were expected to enter pilot production in late 2005 or early 2006. The Hsiung Feng cruise missile still needs to have its terminal-guidance technology enhanced. Several years may be needed before Taiwan can begin mass production of the missile. Taiwan is striving to build up its capabilities to counter the missile buildup of China, which had targeted the island with at least 700 ballistic missiles by 2005.

In August 2005 The China Times reported that Taiwan had begun deploying home-made cruise missiles on mobile launchers that are capable of hitting major military targets in southeast China. The Hsiung Feng missiles, said to have a range of 1,000 kilometers (600 miles), were deployed by the defense ministry's new Missile Command. The missiles were said to cost some 100 million Taiwan dollars (3.13 million US) apiece. Taiwan reportedly successfully test-fired its first cruise missile earlier this year which flew over 500 kilometers before hitting its target.

In August 2005 The China Times reported that the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, was developing cruise missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers for further deployment. The Ministry of National Defense spokesman referred to these media reports as a [sheer fabrication].

In 2007 the US put pressure on Taiwan not to display the Hsiung Feng IIE cruise missile in the military parade on Double Ten National Day, and made it clear it did not want Taiwan to deploy the missile on its outlying islands.

President Ma Ying-jeou in 2008 reportedly approved the production of 300 HF-2Es. The missile, developed by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, was approved for full production in 2011. The HF-2E can be fired from land-based emplacements as well as surface vessels. With an estimated range of 600km, the HF-2E brings some ports in southern China within range, which would now be extended by being deployed on Penghu, located in the middle of the Taiwan Strait. HF-2Es have been spotted on naval vessels anchored at Penghu’s Makung and Tien Kung II surface-to-air missiles are deployed there.

When Taiwan purchased ramjet technology in the 1980s, it also acquired it in the name of "defense." It is claimed to be used to develop the "Tiangong 2" surface-to-air missile-a surface-to-air missile using a ramjet, which is similar to the Soviet SA-6 "Cube", and India’s "Akash" missile at about the same time. The ramjet air defense missile theoretically has the advantage of long range, but in fact, the ramjet air intake designed under the level of technology in the 1980s is likely to fail to work normally when it is maneuvered to a large extent and cause the engine to stall. Russia has not broken through this technical problem, and of course Taiwan has no such ability.

Later, the Tiangong-2 missile that was actually developed was also a development type based on the Tiangong-1 missile, without a ramjet. So this plan was cancelled, but this technology cannot be wasted, so during the 1990s, Taiwan's ramjet technology research focus shifted to cruise missiles. In fact, Taiwan transformed the "defensive weapon technology" to "offensive weapon technology". They used the small turbojet engine technology obtained through the development of the Xiongfeng 2 missile to develop the enlarged Xiongfeng 2E.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a large number of F-16 fighters formed Taiwan's combat capabilities. Although this fighter still lacks some key things, it has a higher ground attack capability than IDF. Taiwan believed that these aircraft could be used for the "Decisive battle abroad". So Taiwan didn't care much about the secretly developed weapons like Xiongfeng 2E.

In the mid-2006 the US Department of State began requesting end-user certificates for all export items destined for CSIST, and AIT officials were instructed to obtain permission prior to meeting anyone from the research institute. The intent was to suppress Taiwan’s ability to develop an indigenous missile program, specifically the 600km range Hsiung Feng-IIE (HF-2E) land-attack cruise missile. In January 2006, Taiwan announced it had built three prototypes of the missile, and intended to start mass production. US opposition to Taiwan’s missile program was linked to Washington’s initial decision to turn down a request by Taipei for 66 F-16C/D aircraft.

The US government regarded the HF-2E as an offensive weapon and therefore contrary to the Taiwan Relations Act, which stipulates US assistance to Taiwan for weapons and services of a “defensive character.” Under Missile Technology Control Regime regulations, the US Department of State had continually blocked the transfer of missile components to Taiwan, to include any complete rocket system (including ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles, and sounding rockets) or unmanned air Vehicle system (including cruise missile systems,target drones and reconnaissance drones) that are capable of delivering at least a 500 kg payload to a range of at least 300 km.

The Ministry of National Defense’s Missile Command would deploy three missile squadrons at a fixed base on Penghu as part of a NT$2.5 billion (US$84.8 million) “Ji Zhun” plan for the acquisition of Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E) land attack cruise missiles. Part of the budget would reportedly be set aside for the construction of bunkers with dehumidifying systems to store the missiles.

By 2012 one of the priorities for Taiwan’s military was to procure 600km to 800km-range cruise missiles like the Hsiung Feng IIE, which is similar to the US-made Tomahawk cruise missile. The military planned to produce 245 Hsiung Feng IIEs. In May 2012, the Taiwan military executives revealed that Xiongfeng 2E had completed mass production and deployment. The length of the missile was between the Xiongfeng III and the American Tomahawk missile (about 6.25m), first deployed in the shore-based position, the future. Other versions such as ship launches may be developed.

In August 2018 satellite images suggested Taiwan had positioned an advanced land-attack cruise missile capable of targeting Hong Kong and other targets along the southeast coast of China’s mainland, as a deterrent amid rising tensions, experts have claimed. The Canada-based Kanwa Defense Review posted on its Facebook page satellite images acquired in March 2018 that it said showed Taiwan’s home-produced Hsiung Feng IIE land-attack cruise missile had been sent to a base in Taoyuan city, about 50km west of Taipei. That would place it 250km from Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province on the mainland. “The deployment started in March, which means the Taiwanese military is able to carry out in-depth strategic strikes against [the mainland],” said Andrei Chang, the monthly magazine’s editor-in-chief.

Military sources stated on 11 January 2021 that the extended-range version of the Hsiung Feng 2E cruise missile had been deployed in small quantities. The sources said that the National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCIST) has successfully developed an extended-range variant of the Hsiung Feng 2E cruise missile that has a range of 1,200 kilometers, making it capable of striking China's non-coastal military installations.

The military pointed out that the newly produced missiles were recently handed over to the Taiwanese Air Force’s Air Defense and Artillery Command. The artillery command is responsible for combat, missile defense, and joint air defense systems, and houses several medium-to high-altitude missile batteries such as the HAWK and Patriot air-defense systems. The exact number of missiles currently deployed remains confidential, CNA reported. According to the official Air Force website, the command is responsible for the nation’s medium- and high-altitude air defense, with its arsenal of Sky Bow, HAWK, and Patriot missiles.

Primary Function Land attack cruise missile
Date deployed before 2018
Power Plant Solid propellant rocket booster, turbojet or turbofan engine for sustained cruise flight
Range variously reported as 600 km, 1,500 km, and 2,000 km.
Top Speed Mach 0.85 (650 mph; 1,000 km/h)
Guidance INS and commercial GPS with in-flight waypoints and corrected by digital maps/terrain matching and forward-looking imaging infrared (IIR) seeker with autonomous target recognition for terminal guidance
Launch Weight 3,000–3,500 lb (1,400–1,600 kg) including solid rocket booster
Precision Within 10 m
Warhead 200 kg (440 lb)

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Page last modified: 25-03-2021 19:39:20 ZULU