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Taiwan bolsters defense with enhanced rocket launchers

New multiple launch rocket system able to hit targets 100 km away

Thunderbolt-2000 multiple rocket launch system

Thunderbolt-2000 multiple rocket launch system (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has a new variant of its Thunderbolt-2000 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), which has a range of 100 kilometers.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) previously noted in a report that its MLRS will be enhanced to have long-range strike capabilities. It has since made a breakthrough in increasing the mobile rocket launcher’s range, Liberty Times quoted a military source as saying on Friday (June 18).

The MLRS now has a maximum range of more than 100 km and will likely be transferred to the Army for deployment once it passes tests, the source said. The MND has not said whether this latest MLRS has entered production or is still in the developmental phase.

The Thunderbolt-2000 is currently equipped with MK-15, MK-30, and MK-45 rockets that can hit targets between 15-45 km away.

Additionally, the MLRS vehicles deployed in Kinmen and Matsu have been sent back to Taiwan’s main island to carry out a live fire anti-beach landing exercise with other units. The outlying islands’ proximity to China prevents the military from conducting drills there.