Taiwan's NCSIST ordered to expedite missile production programs

Ministry of National Defense expects completion of Tiangong III and new anti-ship missile systems within two years

Tiangong III missile test launch (Photo from NCSIST)

Tiangong III missile test launch (Photo from NCSIST)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After many years of developing and testing missile and rocket technology to ensure Taiwan’s ability to defend against attacks from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) has been instructed to begin a project to streamline production of its missile systems over the next two years.

After consulting with defense experts, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) has completed a proposal that examines the anticipated needs of Taiwan’s air defense. With the National Security Council's recent approval of the proposal, the NCSIST has already begun work on developing the necessary apparatus for expedited production of several missiles systems.

On Aug. 1, the NCSIST officially launched the Qingtian Project lab (擎天計畫室), which is expected to produce 20 Cloud Peak missiles and 10 missile platforms within the year. In addition to the Cloud Peak missiles, the NCSIST is also set to expedite production of the Tiangong III missiles.

In 2015, the NCSIST was instructed to mass-produce an arsenal of Tiangong III missiles to upgrade the country’s missile defense systems along the eastern seaboard. The “Qiang Gong Project” (強弓專案) was originally given a budget of NT$74 billion (US$2.4 billion) with a completion date set for 2024.

However, based on current defensive needs and the MND-proposed production schedule, that deadline has now been moved up to 2022, reports Upmedia. Another program, the “Jilong Project”(磐龍專案) aimed at developing mobile land-based anti-ship missile platforms, has also been expedited.

The Jilong Project was launched in 2016 and was expected to complete production of the anti-ship missile models by 2023. However, informed sources report that the MND now deems the production schedule too lax. With ample funding and talent, the MND expects that the NCSIST is well equipped to complete most of its current missile development projects with the next two years.