Taiwan Approves Additional $8 Billion Budget for Weapons Procurement

HF II missile is launched from a mobile trailer (NCSIST photo)

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) told domestic media that the special budget will also fund the production of Taiwan-made Tien Kung (天弓, Sky Bow), Tien Chien (天劍, Sky Sword), and Hsiung Feng (雄風, Brave Wind) missiles.

The special fund approved by Taiwan Parliament will be used to purchase eight different types of weapon systems:

  • Shore-based anti-ship missiles.
  • Field air defense systems.
  • Ground-based air defense systems.
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Air-to-ground cruise missile systems.
  • Surface-to-surface cruise missile systems.
  • High-performance ships.
  • Naval weapons systems for Taiwan’s Coast Guard ships in wartime.

The first system is the Hai Feng (Sea Blade) Shore Based Anti-ship Missile Group, which was established as part of the Taiwanese Army and was known as the “Hsiung Feng Unit(雄風部隊).” Hsiung Feng Unit was handed to the navy in 1987 and renamed “Hai Feng Group(海鋒大隊)” In 2004, the Hai Feng Group was transferred to Missile Command, General Staff Headquarters, Ministry of National Defense, but returned to the navy in 2006.

In addition to Hsiung Feng-II (雄風二型 or HF-2) anti-ship missiles, Hai Feng Group will operate Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems purchased from the United States in the following years. Currently, the Hai Feng Group operates seven squadrons (batteries) that are either fixed or mobile. HF-2 anti-ship missiles, as well as two mobile squadrons (batteries) with HF-2 anti-ship missiles.

The second system covered by the special budget is high-performance ships, which refers to the Tuo-Chiang (沱江) class missile corvettes of the Taiwanese Navy. The Taiwanese navy intends to build up to 12 Tuo-Chiang corvettes, with the final one scheduled to be delivered in 2026.

The Tuo-Chiang class corvette is designed to confront Chinese naval ships using hit-and-run tactics, and the Taiwanese media called the ship class “Carrier-killer.” Except for the first ship of the class, Tuo-Chiang, the Tuo-Chiang class is equipped with Hsiung Feng-II and Hsiung Feng-III (海劍二型) anti-ship missiles, or TC-2N (a ship-launched form of Tien Chien) surface-to-air missiles, Otobreda 76 mm main gun, and Phalanx CIWS.

The second ship of the class, Ta Chiang (塔江, PGG-619) is an upgraded variant and is also the first small ship with air defense capabilities of the Taiwanese navy.

The budget also includes naval weapons systems for Taiwan’s Coast Guard ships during wartime, with the coast guards’ Anping-class patrol vessels, which are based on the design of the navy’s Tuo-Chiang class missile corvettes, being outfitted with the Phalanx CIWS, Stinger SAMs, and Hsiung Feng-II, Hisung Feng-III anti-ship missiles.

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