Monday, July 11, 2011

Doubts are raised over alleged sub-launched missile

Without long overdue mid-life upgrades, the Dutch-built submarines would be incapable of firing the Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missile, experts say

Reports last week that Taiwan had test-fired Hsiung Feng II (“Brave Wind”) anti-ship missiles from a Dutch-built Hailung (“Sea Dragon”)-class submarine last month may have been wrong, Defense News wrote in an article on Friday.

The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) broke the story on Thursday, which was then picked up by Agence France-Presse (AFP) and published in this newspaper on Friday (“Taiwan test-fires self-developed sub-launched missile,” July 8, page 1).

A former Taiwanese navy officer who reportedly worked with ordnance used on the submarines told Defense News that the Hailung-class subs had “absolutely no capability” of launching anti-ship missiles from their torpedo tubes.

This article, which I wrote as a Staff Writer, continues here. Note: With a Ministry of National Defense under the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration that has become increasingly unwilling to share information with the media, or as in this case to deny outright information that is obviously false, such misleading reporting is likely to happen again. We even contacted MND today for comment on the Defense News report, and their chief spokesman again refused to comment.

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