《TAIPEI TIMES》 Military seeking more missiles: report
The Ministry of National Defense logo adorns a podium at the ministry in Taipei in an undated photograph. Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
STRIKING DISTANCE: The military is prioritizing long-range precision strike capabilities, which it plans to obtain through procurements and local development, the report said
By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Taiwan might still be trying to obtain AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles to achieve the military’s invasion-deterrence goals, a Ministry of National Defense report showed.
The Progress Report on the Development of Asymmetric Warfare Capabilities （發展不對稱作戰之精實成效）, submitted to the legislature and dated Oct. 8, states that the defense ministry seeks to procure several types of US-made missiles and bombs for Taiwan’s fleet of F-16V jets.
The weapons include AGM-84 Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response missiles, AGM-88 High-speed anti-Radiation Missiles, the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon and as yet unnamed “significant extended-range capable air-launched missiles.”
The unnamed weapon is believed to be AGM-158A and AGM-158B missiles, which are stealth munitions with an effective range of 370km and greater than 926km respectively.
A ministry spokesperson refused to confirm the type of munition mentioned in the progress report.
The other three types of munitions referred to in the report were included in a NT$45.1 billion （US$1.4 billion） arms deal signed in January by the Defense Mission to the US and the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy in the nation.
The weapons are intended to enhance the ground and sea attack capabilities of F-16V jets operating from air force bases in Taitung, the defense ministry said in the report.
The military’s defense goals emphasize long-range precision strikes, integrated air defense, joint sea control, joint homeland defense, cyberwarfare, and joint command, control and surveillance capabilities, it said.
Long-range precision strike capability is the highest priority among the six capabilities being developed, as it enables the armed forces to target an enemy’s operational center of gravity and disrupt its deployment of sea and air units, the ministry said.
That capability is to be achieved through procurements and domestically developed weapon systems, including the Hsiung Sheng II-E and Wan Chien land-attack cruise missiles, and Chien Hsiang loitering munitions, it said.
The ministry is continuing to create highly mobile combat units with long-range precision strike capabilities to increase defense depth and form a multilayered invasion-deterrence strategy, it said.