December 24, 2005:
Taiwan is modifying its AT-3A jet trainer aircraft to carry Taiwanese made Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles. Some of these aircraft had earlier been modified to use American Harpoon antiship missiles. But, in addition to being made in Taiwan, the 1,144 pound Hsiung Feng II weighs 79 pounds less than the Harpoon, giving the AT-3A a little more time in the air. The AT-3 is also built in Taiwan, which has 60 of them. The AT-3 can carry two missiles, and can stay in the air for three hours per sortie. This gives the Taiwanese more attack options, for the AT-3 can reach Chinese ports that would be used for an invasion of Taiwan. If the Taiwanese can gain air superiority, even for only a short while, the AT-3s could do a lot of damage to the invasion fleet.