Monday, March 04, 2013

Military passes off HF-2E missile launchers as delivery vehicles

A Google Earth view of a HF-2E missile site
Residents in Taoyuan County say they have seen gray cargo trucks bearing the Chinese characters for 'express delivery' 

After years of development, the military has deployed the ultra-secret Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E) land-attack cruise missile (LACM) and appears to be disguising the road-mobile launchers as a fleet of medium-sized express delivery vehicles, Internet reports have said.

The HF-2E LACM, developed by the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), entered mass production under the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration and is now deployed in northern parts of the country. Three squadrons, under Missile Command’s 601 Group, are deployed in Taishan (泰山) and Sansia (三峽) in New Taipei City (新北市), and Yangmei (楊梅) in Taoyuan County, Defense News reported. 

With a range of about 650km, the subsonic HF-2E is at the heart of the national counterforce strategy and would be used to launch retaliatory strikes against military targets along China’s southeastern coast. Reports last year said the deployment was part of a NT$30 billion (US$1.02 billion) program codenamed Chichun, or “Lance Hawk.” 

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

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