Taiwan’s navy fleet is being armed with new “carrier killer” anti-ship missiles as Chinese military expansion and sea trials continue. The supersonic Hsiung Ffeng (Brave Wind) III weapons is deployed in five of the navy’s eight Perry-class frigates and some smaller patrol boats. The missile is designed to cruise at a speed of Mach 2.0, twice the speed of sound, with a range of up to 130 kilometers (80 miles), the Taipei-based China Times said.
The project, costing almost $400 million, plans to deploy 120 “aircraft carrier killer” missiles. China began conducting sea trials with a 1980s-era Soviet navy warship last year, alarming Taiwan’s defense ministry. An expert on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said that it was a long way from operating a fully-equipped aircraft carrier as it faces the major challenge of implementing necessary software.
China regards Taiwan as its own under its One China policy. Ties between the two have improved since the election of Beijing-friendly Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou.