Thursday, December 20, 2012

MND remains vague on medium-range missile report

A cruise missile soars during an exercise
Despite US opposition and technological bottlenecks, Taiwan has been seeking to extend the range of its missiles 

Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) yesterday gave only vague answers when asked to comment on reports that the military’s top research institute had developed a 1,200km medium-range surface-to-surface missile capable of hitting central China. 

“The military normally does not comment on programs that are still in development,” Kao said of a report in the Chinese-language Next Magazine, adding that some of the article’s content was not factual. However, he added that “many things” were still in development and that there was much room for improvement, adding that the ministry would explain the matter to the public “when the time becomes opportune.” 

The article said that following a number of breakthroughs in engine technology and miniaturization, the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), the nation’s top military research institute, had developed — and tested twice this year — a new surface-to-surface missile with a range of 1,200km that is capable of hitting Shanghai, about 700km from Taiwan, and parts of the South China Sea. 

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

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