Taiwan's Armed Forces have requested a top military research facility to come up with a safety measure which will be applied ahead of any missile launches in future following a deadly misfire incident occurred on July 1.
A senior military source told the Central News Agency that the Defense Ministry had asked the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) to come up with new safety mechanism before a missile could be launched.
These measures include asking the NCSIST to design a new missile launch simulation mechanism that allows military officers to conduct drills without the risk of accidentally activating a missile as a Navy petty officer did during the July 1 incident.
The source noted that the military had also asked the research unit to add another safety measure: a password, to be entered launching a missile.
Only a warship's commanding officer (CO) would know the password and it would have to be entered by the CO to initiate the launch, the source said.
These measures are to be put in place following a deadly incident on July 1 when the 500-ton Chin Chiang patrol vessel located at Zuoying Military Harbor in Kaohsiung accidentally fired a locally produced Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile, which hit a fishing vessel and killed the ship's skipper.
Following the disaster, the Navy blamed Petty Officer 2nd Class Kao Chia-chun, who allegedly failed to follow standard operating procedures. Superior officers were not present when the missile was fired while set to the wrong launch mode.
According to the Chinese-language United Daily News report on Sunday, the Defense Ministry has concluded an internal probe into the incident, finding that the blunder was the result of a series of mistakes. However, Defense Ministry did not confirm the conclusion of the probe.
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