Friday, January 17, 2014

Taiwan unveils ‘Wan Chien’ missile, upgraded IDF aircraft

All 71 IDFs in the 443rd Tactical Fighter Wing in Tainan have been upgraded, and all can carry to air-to-ground cruise missile

The Taiwanese Air Force on January 16 unveiled a new air-to-ground cruise missile that could play a major role in any military confrontation with China.

Known as the Wan Chien, or “Ten Thousands Swords,” the cruise missile was developed by the military-run Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST). Although serial production is not expected to begin until 2015, the missile is believed to have entered service on Aerospace Industrial Development Corp’s (AIDC) F-CK-1 Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) following a mid-life upgrade program.

The Wan Chien cruise missile
Thursday’s ceremony, held at Tainan Air Force Base in Southern Taiwan, marked the completion of the Hsiang-Chan Project — a mid-life upgrade for the 71 IDFs in the 443rd Tactical Fighter Wing, based in Tainan. Another 56 IDFs, part of the 427th Tactical Fighter Wing in Taichung, are also expected to undergo upgrades starting this year, a project that is scheduled for completion in 2017. By then, all 127 IDFs will be Wan Chien-capable.

Initiated in 2006, the Hsiang-Chan Project IDFs underwent modernization in three principal areas, namely the aviation operating system, which now runs on a 32-bit platform, up from 16; in-air electronic equipment; and radar systems. A new tri-color multi-function heads-up display will enhance ease of navigation, while a software update for its radar system, developed by Han Shiang Corp, enables the tracking of multiple targets simultaneously and provides countermeasures against electronic jamming.

My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here (photos by the author)

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