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Taiwan Navy to deploy new air defense missile system in August

Sea Sword II system capable of simultaneously engaging anti-ship missiles, aircraft

Ta Chiang corvette.

Ta Chiang corvette. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Sea Sword II air defense missile system has passed live-fire trials, completed operational evaluations, and is ready to be deployed on Taiwan Navy ships by August.

The new system is the naval variant of the Sky Sword II and will be outfitted on the Navy’s newest vessel, the Ta Chiang, which is a Tuo Chiang-class frigate. The ship is expected to be handed over to the Navy in July.

Sailors assigned to the Ta Chiang participated in Sea Sword II trials carried out on the Navy’s Cheng Kung-class frigates this month. The missile system performed well and met all naval combat requirements, Liberty Times quoted military sources as saying.

The Ta Chiang is designed to carry up to eight Hsiung Feng II subsonic anti-ship missiles and eight Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missiles. However, its air defense firepower is insufficient, prompting the Navy to alter the payload for subsequent Tuo Chiang-class vessels to four Hsiung Feng III missiles and 12 Sea Sword II missiles.

The Sea Sword II is an active radar-guided, mid-range air defense missile developed by the National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST). The new system's multi-target capability allows it to engage with anti-ship missiles and aircraft simultaneously, according to NCSIST.

The Ta Chiang (塔江) is derived from the Tawa River (塔瓦溪) in Taitung County. The river basin is home to the Paiwan Indigenous people, who have hunted in the area since ancient times and are known for their fearlessness and bravery in war, according to the Navy Command.