Strategic Weapons: Sparing Shanghai


September 3,2008:  Taiwan has decided not to develop a cruise missile with a 1,000 kilometer range. This would have enabled Taiwan to hit Chinese cities from Shanghai to Hong Kong. China currently has about 1,300 ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan.

It was three years ago that Taiwan first tested a cruise missile version of its Hsiung Feng anti-ship missile. That version had a range of about 600 kilometers, and a highly accurate guidance system. It carries a 500 pound warhead. This cruise missile can do a lot of damage to the many Chinese military targets near the coast. Taiwan has since been quietly producing this missile, so as not to alarm China. The missiles cost over $300,000 each.

Two years ago, Last year, Taiwan revealed that it had developed yet another version of its Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missile. This one is launched from trucks or fixed launchers. Altogether, about 500 of the one ton Hsiung Feng IIE cruise missiles are to be put in service. They apparently use GPS guidance and some stealth features, to make them less liable to getting shot down. There is some production of a version with a range of 800 kilometers ( and a slightly smaller warhead). Using a more efficient engine, range could be extended to 1,000 kilometers or more. As a peace gesture to China, Taiwan has decided not to produce the 1,000 kilometer version of the Hsiung Feng.


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