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Taiwan confirmed to have missiles capable of striking Beijing

Hsiung Feng missile has range of up to 1,000 km, Yun Feng can reach speed of Mach 3

Some scholars believe the Yun Feng missile is a high-altitude version of the Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile pictured above. (Taiwan Navy image)

Some scholars believe the Yun Feng missile is a high-altitude version of the Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile pictured above. (Taiwan Navy image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former head of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), Kung Chia-cheng (龔家政) in his new memoir, revealed that Taiwan's military has developed missiles that are capable of striking deep into China, including Beijing.

The memoir, titled "The Reminiscences of Mr. Gong Chia Cheng," revealed that Taiwan's new surface-to-surface missile, the Hsiung Sheng (雄昇飛彈), was derived from the Hsiung Feng 2E (雄風二E) land-attack cruise missile and is divided into two types, A and B, with a range of 500 km and 1,000 km, respectively. Kung wrote that testing was completed on both types during the President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) administration.

The book was officially published last month by Chang Li (張力) and Chou Su-feng (周素鳳) from the Academia Sinica's Institute of Modern History. Kung's accounts document the development process and achievements of many of Taiwan's domestically-developed missile programs.

Kung revealed in the memoir that the A variant of Hsiung Feng has a range of 500 kilometers and completed its test launch during his tenure as head of NCSIST in 2004. While the B version of Hsiung Feng has a range of 1,000 kilometers, it completed its test launch when he stepped down as president in 2007, and with the addition of a turbofan engine propulsion system, it can fly farther and use less fuel.

Previous reports listed the estimated range of the Hsiung Sheng as 1,000 to 1,200 kilometers, enabling it to strike deep into China's interior to cities such as Wuhan and along its coast as far north as Qingdao.

According to a project report submitted to the Legislative Yuan by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in April, the Hsiung Sheng has two types of warheads, high-explosive and fragmentation, which can be aimed at enemy command posts, bunkers, and airbase runways. With a budget of more than NT$17 billion, mass production of the missile is to start this year, and approximately 131 are scheduled to be completed by 2025.

In addition, Kung revealed that Taiwan had successfully test-fired ballistic missiles during the Chen administration and the highly confidential project code-named "Target Projectile project" (靶彈計畫) belonged to the Sky Bow project (天弓計畫), which developed air defense missiles. At the time, more than 400 people were involved in the project, according to Kung. He added that this missile, with a diameter of one meter and a height of 10 meters, was the first missile made in Taiwan of this size.

He stated that the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director at the time, who would have been Steven Young from 2006 to 2007, submitted a memorandum of understanding, listing some guidelines that roughly stated that Taiwan test-launched missiles "at a certain time and place, and that was not permissible." Kung added that when the institute was working on the Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile, Taiwan applied with the U.S. for JP-10 high-density synthetic jet fuels, but was denied by Washington, allegedly because Taiwan was getting to the final stages of creating its own missile.

Kung said that it was not until the NCSIST publicly stated it was able to produce the fuel that the US was willing to sell it to Taiwan. He claimed that, in fact, Taiwan was only able to produce a small quantity of the fuel.

He also mentioned that Taiwan has developed the Yun Feng (雲峰) high-altitude supersonic cruise missile which can reach a speed of Mach 3 and has a range of more than 1,000 km, and it has completed tactical evaluation.

The extended version of the Yun Feng is believed to have a range of between 1,200 km and 2,000 km. The distance from Taipei to Beijing is approximately 1,700 km.