The Taiwan Air Force is currently in the midst of operational assessments, evaluating an air-launched variant of the Hsing Feng III anti-ship missile fitted onto the F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo, commonly known as Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF).
The Taiwan News has reported that these domestically manufactured jets boast flight speeds compatible with the requisite initial velocity for launching these missiles. To streamline weight considerations, modifications have been implemented, including the removal of two boosters initially part of the Hsiung Feng III missiles. Additionally, the missile body underwent moderate downsizing and weight reduction.
Developed by Taiwan’s National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), the Hsiung Feng III (HF-3; “Brave Wind III”) stands as a medium-range supersonic missile, designed to neutralize both land-based and naval targets.
This integration aims to bolster the IDF’s capabilities for precise long-range attacks against sizable Chinese vessels while serving as a deterrent against potential military threats from China. The ongoing focus of the missile’s development primarily centers on refinement, emphasized the official overseeing the project.
The F-CK-1 boasts a maximum payload capacity of 4,000 kilograms, aligning with the weight parameters of the new missile variant at approximately 1,300 kilograms, well within the fighter jet’s payload range. Nevertheless, continuous efforts persist to further downsize and reduce the missile’s weight.
While the standard range of the Hsiung Feng III missile stands at 150 kilometers, the air-launched adaptation is estimated to reach approximately 120 kilometers. Factoring in the upgraded performance capabilities of the local fighter jets, this missile aligns with operational requirements for defending the Taiwan Strait.