TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taiwan-manufactured Sky Sword II missiles will see their usage and adaptation expanded so they can help Taiwan’s Air Force tackle the threat from China’s Sukhoi Su-35 jets, reports said Wednesday.
The Taiwanese weapon was developed in the 1990s as a medium-range air-to-air missile at the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST, 中科院).
According to a report in the Liberty Times, the sea-to-air version of the Sky Sword II (天劍二) will be distributed to the Taiwan Navy’s Lafayette frigates from 2020 to 2028. In addition, Indigenous Defense Fighter (經國號) jets will see their number of missiles double from two to four per plane, a move targeted at China’s Chengdu J-20 stealth aircraft and Sukhoi Su-35 jets.
An upgraded version of the Taiwanese missile has expanded its range from 60 kilometers to 100 km, the Liberty Times reported. Its maximum speed amounted to Mach 6, or six times the speed of sound, sufficient to counter the Mach 2 speeds of the Su-35.