TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Thursday (Jan. 14) began its second wave of long-range missile trial launches.
The NCSIST had previously announced it would fire long-range missiles before the Lunar New Year. The first wave occurred Jan. 7-8, while the second wave is taking place Thursday and Friday (Jan. 15). The third wave will be on Jan. 18-19.
The launch times and areas restricted will be the same both days, as only one type of missile is being tested. The established danger zone is 36 miles off the coast of Taiwan, stretching from Green Island in the west to Orchid Island in the east and reaching northward to waters off Yilan County.
The maximum altitude of the missiles is set at “infinitely high,” CNA reported.
A retired NCSIST employee stated that the missile in question is likely the extended-range Hsiung Feng cruise missile, judging from the range of the danger zone and the projectile’s L-shaped flight trajectory.
According to military sources, whenever NCSIST has conducted missile tests in recent memory, a Chinese reconnaissance ship, the Sirius, and a maritime survey vessel, the Sea Queen, have appeared in eastern waters off Taitung and Hualien. However, neither ship showed up during the last wave or on Thursday’s launches.
Sources stated that the absence of the Chinese ships was quite rare.
Military personnel pointed out that at 5 a.m. Thursday morning, a U.S. warship was traveling 40 miles southeast of Orchid Island into the Bashi Channel. The Chinese ships perhaps did not show up in order to avoid the American vessel’s radar.
The Ministry of National Defense indicated that with regard to maritime and aerial developments around the Taiwan Strait, the military has a full grasp on things and can respond to incidents immediately through joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.