Taiwan’s indigenous Wan Chien air to ground cruise missile – a cluster munition, is now operational after a successful live-fire test in September last year, Taiwan’s defense ministry announced Monday.
The Wan Chien developed by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), has a range of over 200 kilometers, which gives it the ability to strike Chinese bases in Fujian and Guangdong, as well as amphibious forces approaching Taiwan by sea.
Based on plans by the Air Force, the GPS-guided missile is to be armed with cluster bombs and can be fired from the midline of the Taiwan Strait to destroy and paralyze air bases, troop concentrations, loading and unloading areas, and fortifications in Fujian and Guangdong.
The new missile will give the air force the ability to strike at the Chinese Air Force’s coastal strongholds as well as amphibious ship groups, according to the island’s semi-official Central News Agency.
The September 2017 trials were carried out at the Jioupeng Military Base in Pingtung County. In a more rigorous tactical assessment simulating combat conditions, the Air Force launched the cruise missile from an Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), and evaluated the accuracy and effectiveness of the weapon.
Two IDF twin-seat fighter jets took off from Chihhang Air Base (志航) in Taitung at 2 p.m., with one firing the missile at surface targets at sea, while the other tracked and recorded the mission, along with an aerial drone. The mission was completed within 25 minutes and resulted with multiple surface targets being successfully destroyed by the missile's cluster munitions warhead.
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