Thursday, August 11, 2011

Taiwan sends not-so-subtle signal on China’s carrier

CSIST and MND officials were all winks when asked to explain the unusual display, and the fact that the top research center falls under the Ministry of National Defense means it was no accident

In a blunt departure from tradition, the military yesterday displayed a model Hsiung Feng (“Brave Wind”) III (HF-3, 雄風三) anti-ship missile with, as a backdrop, a large picture of a burning aircraft carrier that bore a striking resemblance to China’s retrofitted Varyag, which embarked on its maiden voyage earlier in the day.

The booth, set at a prominent location at the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE), which opens today, was the center of attention of reporters who were given a chance to take a look around during a pre-show visit.


While the HF-3 had been on display at previous shows, this was the first time it was shown in a context that prominently identified its intended target. Although no flag or ensign could be seen on the computer-generated rendition of the aircraft carrier and accompanying fleet, the “ski jump” ramp and general outlook were oddly similar to the Varyag China acquired from Ukraine in 1998.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here. My take for JDW appears here (subscription required)

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