Friday, January 21, 2011

Taiwan likely to hold second set of missile tests

The majority of missiles that failed in the NT$300 million (US$10 million) missile exercise earlier this week were foreign-made. Some of those will be re-tested during a second exercise later this year

Following a less-than-stellar major missile test on Tuesday, a military official yesterday said that a second exercise would likely be held in the second half of this year.

Of the 19 missiles fired during the United Air Defense Fire exercise, held at the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology’s Jiupeng missile testing base in Pingtung County, two misfired and four encountered various problems resulting in failure to detonate upon nearing their target.

Following the exercise, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) told media he was “not satisfied” with the results and called on the military to improve its performance.

Among those that failed were the indigenous Tien Chien II “Sky Sword” (TC-II) and French-made Mica — both air-to-air missiles — as well as the US-made surface-to-air Sparrow, which misfired and plummeted into the South China Sea.

In all, 11 types of missile were fired — almost every air-to-air and surface-to-air missile in the nation’s arsenal minus the AIM-120 AMRAAM and PAC-2 missile systems, Defense News quoted an unnamed defense official as saying.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

What failed on Tuesday:

- 1x Mica air-to-air (FR)
- 1x Dual-Mounted Stinger surface-to-air (US)
- 1x TC-II air-to-air (TW)
- 3x Sparrow (1x AIM-7 air-to-air and 2x RIM-7 surface to air) (US)

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