Taiwan test fires missile near southeast coast

Sky Bow III surface-to-air missile was believed to be involved: experts

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A missile was test-fired near Sanxiantai in Taitung County Thursday morning, according to media reports.

A missile was test-fired near Sanxiantai in Taitung County Thursday morning, according to media reports. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The military test fired a missile near the popular tourist destination of Sanxiantai in Taitung County early Thursday morning, but officials were unwilling to confirm or deny the event or to provide any details.

The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST, 中科院), which is in charge of developing new weapons systems, said it would not comment on research and development issues of sensitive defense items, the Central News Agency reported. The organization also asked the public to support and encourage this policy, as it affected national security and the autonomous development of defense systems.

Experts raised the possibility that the missile had been a Sky Bow III (天弓三) surface-to-air projectile because of its high trajectory, reducing the likelihood of a cruise missile, CNA reported.

The Sanxiantai area corresponded to the basic requirements for testing a missile fired from the Jiupeng Air Force Base in neighboring Pingtung County, military experts said.

The Sky Bow III involves radar and other systems which allow it to counter incoming fighter jets, cruise missiles and other projectiles simultaneously, according to information from CSIST.

The new Taiwanese missile would join up with the Patriot PAC-3 systems supplied by the United States to replace ageing surface-to-air missiles, CNA reported.