ROC ARMY UNVEILS SKY BOW MISSILE BASE IN KAOHSIUNG
Taipei, Aug. 26 (CNA) The Republic of China Army unveiled its Sky Bow surface-to-air missile base in Linyuan in the southern Taiwan county of Kaohsiung County on Thursday amid escalation of tension in the Taiwan Strait.
This was the first time that the ROC military has opened its Sky Bow air-defense missile base for media coverage. Observers said the move is part of the military's efforts to allay local people's jitters about possible mainland Chinese attacks over the "special state-to-state relationship" controversy.
The Army General Headquarters said all Sky-Bow missile units in Taiwan and on offshore islands have completed combat deployment with the assistance of the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CIST) and the Combined Service Force.
The CIST-developed Sky Bow surface-to-air missiles have been deployed at six army bases, with five in Taiwan and one in Tungyin, a small islet of the Matsu island group which lies closer to mainland China than to Taiwan.
The five Sky Bow missile bases in Taiwan are located in Sanchih, a northern Taiwan coastal township; Penghu, an offshore island county off southwestern Taiwan coast; Taichung in central Taiwan; and two bases in the southern Taiwan county of Kaohsiung.
All of the six Sky Bow missile bases are equipped with highly advanced phased array radar systems.
In addition, the CIST, the military's research and development arm, has completed combat testing on the second-generation Sky Bow missiles. Military sources said Sky Bow II missiles are more sophisticated and more powerful than Sky Bow I missiles. Mass production and deployment of Sky Bow II missiles have also got underway, CIST officials said.
Beijing has launched new rounds of saber-rattling against Taiwan since ROC President Lee Teng-hui said in an interview with a German radio station on July 9 that Taiwan-mainland China relations should be on a "special state-to-state relationship" basis. (By Sofia Wu)