TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Video of Taiwan's fearsome Thunderbolt-2000 missile system being launched during a live-fire drill was released to the public for the first time yesterday by the Military News Agency.
As part of yesterday's live-fire drill, titled "Anti-Landing Operations," which simulated the repelling of an attempted amphibious landing by the PLA on Jianan (甲南) Beach in western Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense deployed the Thunderbolt-2000 MLRS (multiple launch rocket system). The Military News Agency utilized a high-speed camera to capture the MLRS in action and released photos and video to the public, marking the first time images of the system being utilized during a military exercise had been released.
Braving rain and cold temperatures, about 1,000 soldiers were deployed at 5 a.m. after a Cardinal II UAV spotted mock PLA forces from forming a beachhead. Apache attack helicopters and locally made IDF jet fighters were then rapidly dispatched to hammer PLA forces trying to make a landing.
From the ground, the Thunderbolt-2000 missiles and M110A2 self-propelled howitzers were fired with great effect at Chinese forces massing on the beach. Next, rocket mortars, CM-33 armored infantry fighting vehicles, M109A6 self-propelled guns and M60A3 tanks, and sniper rifles delivered a coup de grâce to the tattered remnants of PLA fores trying to flee the hellish scene.
The Thunderbolt-2000 is domestically made and first rolled off the assembly line in 1997. It is a mobile platform specifically designed to attack enemy forces attempting to make an amphibious landing.
In the video of the live fire drill, dozens of missiles can be seen fired in rapid succession from the platform, while a night vision camera shows their lethal effect as they rain down on enemy positions below.
The Military News Agency released both slow motion and real-time video of the Thunderbolt-2000 missile system firing its munitions: