TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's Wan Chien (萬劍, Ten Thousand Swords) air-to-ground cruise missile, which is capable of hitting southern China's coastal bases, is now officially operational, Liberty Times cited a defense official as saying.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, stated that a live-fire test of the Wan Chien missile, which was developed by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), was carried out in late September of last year at the Jioupeng Military Base (九鵬基地) in Pingtung County. In a more rigorous tactical assessment simulating combat conditions, the Air Force launched the cruise missile from an Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), and evaluated the accuracy and effectiveness of the weapon.
Two IDF twin-seat fighter jets took off from Chihhang Air Base (志航) in Taitung at 2 p.m., with one firing the missile at surface targets at sea, while the other tracked and recorded the mission, along with an aerial drone. The mission was completed within 25 minutes and resulted with multiple surface targets being successfully destroyed by the missile's cluster munitions warhead.
The Wan Chien has a range of over 200 kilometers, which gives it the ability to strike Chinese bases in Fujian and Guangdong, as well as amphibious forces approaching Taiwan by sea. Based on plans by the Air Force, the GPS-guided missile is to be armed with cluster bombs and can be fired from the midline of the Taiwan Strait to destroy and paralyze air bases, troop concentrations, loading and unloading areas, and fortifications in Fujian and Guangdong.
The weapon's capabilities have been likened to those of the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon and the Storm Shadow.
Image of AGM-154 JSOW. (Wikimedia Commons)