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Taiwan's Tien-Kung III missile modified for ship-based launch platforms

'Hai-Kung III' missiles to be equipped on navy missile boats

Tien-kung III Missile with land-based launch platform

Tien-kung III Missile with land-based launch platform (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) —Taiwan’s Navy has reportedly succeeded in modifying the domestically produced Tien-Kung III (天弓三型) missile system, also known as the Sky Bow III, to be deployable on ship-based missile platforms.

The modified version has been dubbed the Hai-Kung III missile (海弓三飛彈), or Sea Bow III, with testing on two different launch systems expected to be finished before 2020. Despite some delays ahead of the mass production of Hai-Kung III missiles, there has been definite progress made on the ship-based anti-tactical ballistic missiles, reports Upmedia.

Developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Technology (NCSIST), the missiles have already undergone successful initial tests, having been fired from a ship-based platform designed by NCSIST in late 2018. Upmedia reports that NCSIST has since purchased two MK-41 vertical launching systems from the U.S.

The Hai-Kung III missiles are expected to be fitted and tested on the MK-41 launch platforms later this year. According to the report, once the missiles can be successfully fired from both platforms, the Ministry of Defense will request funding for their mass production.

According to reports, the Hai-Kung III missiles are expected to be equipped on the fleet of 60 micro missile boats that were ordered by the Navy but still await funding. It was announced in early August that the micro missile boat program would be delayed but that funding was expected to be allocated in next year’s defense budget, with production beginning in 2021.