Monday, July 6, 2020

Taiwan confirms decision to acquire Harpoon missiles

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Taiwan’s officials have confirmed that the Ministry of National Defense is close to a deal to purchase the new mobile coastal defense system with Boeing Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles.

According to a recent report by the Udn.com, Taiwan’s deputy defense minister Chang Zhe-Ping has confirmed that Taipei has decided to acquire a U.S.-made Harpoon coastal defense system in a mobile configuration.

Chang Zhe-Pin also added that the new missiles should enter service with the Navy’s Hai Feng squadron in 2023.

The new mobile coastal defense system is intended to perform surveillance of maritime coastal traffic, monitoring and picturing sea lines of communication, and identification and detection of hostile targets. It is also capable of countering and interdicting the potential coastal threats in territorial waters. This expands the defended area and enhances the total fighting capability of the force.

The Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness.

To strike targets on land and ships in port, the missile uses GPS-aided inertial navigation to hit a designated target aimpoint. The 227 kilogram blast warhead delivers lethal firepower against a wide variety of land-based targets, including coastal defense sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, port/industrial facilities and ships in port.

The potential deal would strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan defense relationship. The United States already has exported weapons to Taiwan annually for more than 70 years. Since 2008, the United States has sold more than $24 billion in arms to Taiwan, including fighter aircraft, tanks, and missiles.

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Executive Editor

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