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Taiwan manufacturer to more than double annual missile production

National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology working on new production facilities

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Military drills in Taiwan Aug. 8. 

Military drills in Taiwan Aug. 8.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New production facilities will allow one of Taiwan’s top weapons makers, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), to double its annual missile production to 500, reports said Saturday (Aug. 13).

The state-owned corporation is currently turning out about 200 missiles of six different types a year. A planned factory expansion program is likely to double its output, CNA reported.

The news follows large-scale military maneuvers by China close to Taiwan in the wake of United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Aug. 2-3 visit to Taipei. The drills included the firing of 11 missiles into space and over Taiwan.

A recent report submitted by the Ministry of National Defense to the Legislative Yuan revealed the scale of the production increase by the NCSIST. The Sky Sword II would see its production level increase from 40 to 150 a year, while the arms manufacturer would turn out 96 Sky Bow III surface-to-air and air defense missiles per year instead of the current 48.

For the Hsiung Feng III medium-range supersonic missile, the figure would more than triple from 20 to 70. The Hsiung Feng II and the Hsiung Sheng, which roll off the same assembly line, will see their joint production level rise from 81 to 131 a year.

As to the Wan Chien air-to-ground cruise missile, the NCSIST wants to hike annual production from 18 to 50. In all, the company would be able to produce a total of 497 missiles a year, according to the report.

As the Hsiung Sheng is a precision weapon, it would be deployed in the north and south, while the Wan Chien would also be stationed in central Taiwan, CNA reported. Coastal-based systems had the task of countering enemy aircraft carriers and amphibious vehicles. Most systems are able to hit targets at least 150 kilometers away with sufficient precision, the military said.