Taiwan unveils cruise missiles designed to strike Chinese military installations

Domestically developed Wan Chien air-to-ground attack missiles make debut at Penghu military base

Taiwan Air Force displays IDF jets and Wan Chien cruise missiles in Penghu.  

Taiwan Air Force displays IDF jets and Wan Chien cruise missiles in Penghu.   (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Air Force on Tuesday (Sept. 22) displayed its new Wan Chien (萬劍, Ten Thousand Swords) air-to-ground cruise missiles at an offshore military base, along with its Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) and other weaponry.

During President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) visit on Tuesday to the Magong Air Force base in Taiwan's island county of Penghu, the military offered a rare glimpse of the locally developed Wan Chien missiles, which only entered service in 2018. Developed by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), the weapons are carried exclusively by the IDF jets and can be fired at targets about 200 kilometers away.

The GPS-guided missiles are said to have the ability to strike Chinese air bases, military barracks, and fortifications in Fujian and Guangdong provinces once they are fired from near the median line of the Taiwan Strait. They can also be used to immobilize amphibious ships approaching Taiwan, reported CNA.

This is the first time Wan Chien cruise missiles have been displayed to the public. Their debut appearance comes at a time when the Chinese military has increased activity around Taiwan.

Since last Thursday (Sept. 17), Chinese warplanes have entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) five times. On Sept. 18, 12 Chinese jets crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and came extremely close to entering Taiwan's sovereign airspace.

During her address to Magong Air Force base staff, Tsai emphasized that Taiwan will not allow China to continue saber-rattling. She said that she is confident in the "ability" and "resolve" of the Taiwanese armed forces to defend the country and that Taiwan is dedicated to maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Single-seat IDF jet armed with a pair of Wan Chien missiles under its wings. (Wikimedia Commons photo)