TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan missile tests scheduled for June 22-25 will likely include an extended-range version of the Sky Bow III missile.
An announcement Saturday (June 12) said there was no height limit for the firings, suggesting the new version of the missile would be tested.
The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST, 中科院) said the missiles would be fired from Jiupeng Air Force Base in Pingtung County. They would cover an area from Taitung County in the east to the zone between Green Island and Orchid Island and then north over the ocean to Hualien County.
The existing version of the Sky Bow III (TK-3) surface-to-air missile can effectively intercept targets up to an altitude of 26 kilometers. However, the NCSIST has reportedly been developing an enhanced version that would reach and destroy even higher targets, the Liberty Times reported.
As the tests scheduled for June 23 did not indicate a maximum height, experts assumed the firings were the latest step in the NCSIST program to prepare the new missiles for production in 2024.
In the face of aggressive military moves by China, the government has been procuring weapons systems from the United States. It also emphasizes the domestic manufacturing of defense items ranging from missiles to submarines.