Taiwan Air Defense Overview
The Improved HAWK (I-HAWK) SAM system remains the mainstay of Taiwan's air defense. It is a medium-range, low- to medium-altitude system, designed to defend fixed and mobile assets from high speed aircraft. The standard I-HAWK site consists of a pulse acquisition radar, a continuous wave acquisition radar, a high power illuminating target tracking radar, a range-only radar, and six three-missile launchers.
Taipei also has deployed an indigenously-produced SAM--the Tien Kung or Sky Bow-- designed to replace the recently retired NIKE-HERCULES system. The Tien Kung is a medium-to-long range system, reportedly based on early versions of the U.S. PATRIOT. The Tien Kung-I is a single-stage, solid-propellant missile. It is deployed in two configurations: as a mobile, containerized system employing a quad-box launcher similar in appearance to the M901 PATRIOT missile launcher and as a fixed, silo-launched SAM.
A follow-on variant, the Tien Kung-II, is configured as a fixed, two-stage, single-rail or silo-launched system. For target acquisition, tracking, and mid-course missile guidance requirements, the Tien Kung employs a multifunction, phased-array radar with associated fire-control computer system and a continuous wave dish antenna illuminator which are tied into the radar in order to allow multiple target engagement.
As an initial response to the emerging missile threat, Taiwan has purchased the Modified Air Defense System (MADS), an improved variant of the PATRIOT surface-to-air missile (SAM) system which was used during DESERT STORM. The MADS, which began arriving on Taiwan in 1997, is deployed around heavily populated Taipei.
Short-range air defense coverage is provided primarily by the CHAPARRAL and the SKYGUARD systems. The CHAPARRAL consists of four modified AIM-9C SIDEWINDER missiles mounted on a tracked vehicle. The SKYGUARD is an integrated air defense system consisting of a modified AIM-7M/SPARROW AAM and a 35 mm AAA gun. Taiwan is expected to procure the STINGER/AVENGER SAM system. It is a pedestal mounted system with two pods--each with four STINGER missiles--mounted on the back of a High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).
Taiwan's Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) has developed and publicly displayed a new tactical air defense which it has dubbed the ANTELOPE. According to promotional brochures, work on the ANTELOPE began in July 1995 as a direct by-product of the Tien Chien-I IR AAM. According to CSIST, the ANTELOPE consists of a target acquisition system, communication components, an operational control system, a carrier, and four 18-km maximum range Tien Chien-I missiles. It can be used to intercept low-flying helicopters, fighter aircraft, attack aircraft, and bombers and can be installed on a midsize truck or HMMWV.
Sources and Methods
- Tang says low-level missile defense needed Taiwan Headlines Wednesday, February 2, 2000 -- Minister of National Defense Tang Fei said Tuesday that Taiwan needs to build its own low-level missile defense to protect itself from mainland China's missile deployments.
- ROC DRIVE TO DEVELOP MISSILE SHIELD PROMPTED BY BEIJING THREATS (CNA-Taiwan) 17 December 1999 -- Defense Minister Tang Fei said on Friday the Republic of China's drive to develop a missile shield is prompted by mainland China's mounting military threats, particularly its guided ballistic missile deployment.
- PREMIER BACKS INDIGENOUS ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE SYSTEM [CNA Taiwan] 16 November 1999 -- Republic of China Premier Vincent Siew stressed on Tuesday that national defense should depend on the nation itself, and that the government will back the development of the indigenous anti-ballistic missile system (ATBM).
- ROC TO DEPLOY LOW-ALTITUDE ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM BY 2005 [CNA Taiwan] 16 November 1999 -- The Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CIST), the Republic of China military's research arm, said the low-altitude missile defense system is expected to be ready for mass production and deployment by 2005 or 2006.
- TMD NOT BEEN RULED OUT FOR TAIWAN BUT NO DECISION MADE [CNA Taiwan] 13 November 1999 -- Adm. Dennis Blair, commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Command, said said the United States should help Taiwan build missile defenses against missiles deployed across the Taiwan Strait and dismissed Beijing's objections to US missile-defense assistance to Taiwan.
- To TMD or Not to TMD Gary Klintworth Free China Review [Taiwan] September 1999 -- The Cox Report, whatever its shortcomings, will bolster US plans to develop a National Missile Defense to protect the US mainland, and a TMD to protect America's perimeter. That is where Taiwan comes into the picture.
- US TO SELL TAIWAN DATA LINKS FOR 2ND-GENERATION WARPLANES CNA-Taiwan 02 March 2000 -- United States will approve Taiwan's request to purchase three additional upgraded Patriot missile systems for deployment in central and southern parts of the island. The ROC has already purchased three sets of Patriot PAC-2 Plus anti-missile systems, which have been deployed in densely populated northern Taiwan. The United States is also expected to endorse sales of long-range early warning radar systems.
- ROC PLANS TO ACQUIRE 6 MORE PATRIOT MISSILE SYSTEMS (CNA-Taiwan) 28 January 2000 -- In order to build up its national defense capability, the Republic of China plans to acquire six more US-made Patriot antiballistic-missile systems to be installed in central and southern Taiwan.
- TAIWAN TO CONDUCT LIVE TESTS OF US-MADE PATRIOT MISSILES IN 2001 [CNA Taiwan] 01 January 2000 -- Taiwan took delivery of the Patriot missiles from the United States in 1996. The missiles were formally deployed after passing combat readiness tests in July 1998.
- US plans advanced weapons sales to Taiwan China Times Oct. 4, 1999 -- The United States will soon make new sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan, including six new Patriot 3 anti-missile batteries.
- Army opens five missile bases to media China News [Taiwan] 27 August 1999 -- The five Sky Bow missile bases in Taiwan are located in Penghu, Taichung, Sanchih, a northern coastal township, and Kaohsiung, which has two.
- ROC ARMY UNVEILS SKY BOW MISSILE BASE IN KAOHSIUNG China News [Taiwan] 26 August 1999 -- The Republic of China Army unveiled its Sky Bow surface-to-air missile base in Linyuan in the southern Taiwan county of Kaohsiung County. 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. Sky Bow missiles have been deployed in Tungyin, a small islet of the Matsu island group. All of the six Sky Bow missile bases are equipped with highly advanced phased array radar systems.
- ROC COMPLETES MISSILE DEPLOYMENT ON OUTLYING ISLANDS Central News Agency [Taiwan] 11 August 1999 -- Tungyin, an islet belonging to the Matsu group, is the only outlying island to have deployed the highly advanced surface-to-air Sky Bow missiles.
- PENTAGON ANNOUNCES POSSIBLE HAWK MISSILE SALE TO TAIWAN [CNA Taiwan] 08 March 2000 -- The US Department of Defense announced on Tuesday the possible sale to Taiwan of 162 HAWK Intercept Aerial guided missiles and peripheral equipment at an estimated cost of US$106 million.
- DoD News Briefing Thursday, January 13, 2000 -- Taiwanese have deployed Chaparral missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea. They've had Chaparral missiles for a long while.
- MND DENIES WITHDRAWING CHAPARRAL MISSILES FROM MATSU Central News Agency [Taiwan] 09 August 1999 -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) denied a newspaper report that the military will withdraw chaparral missiles from the Republic of China-held frontline island of Matsu.
Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated Tuesday, April 04, 2000 5:20:57 AM