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Taiwan shows ‘carrier killer’ missile as China launches aircraft carrier

The HF-III missile on display. A file photo

TAIPEI (BNS): Even as China’s lone aircraft carrier embarked on its maiden voyage, Taiwan, in a defiant show of strength, has displayed an indigenous “carrier killer” supersonic cruise missile.

As it opened the biennial Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) 2011 on Wednesday, a day when China commenced sea trial of its Soviet-era aircraft carrier, Taiwan showcased a model of its new Hsiung Feng III missile in the backdrop of a “burning” aircraft carrier, media reports said.

While the supersonic cruise missile has been displayed during previous shows, this was the first time that the weapon was shown “in a context that prominently identified its intended target,” the Taipei Times reported.

Next to the burning carrier were the Chinese characters for “carrier killer,” also the first time the HF-III had been described as such, the report said.

A Taiwanese lawmaker had few months back stated that the country had deployed the new supersonic cruise missiles on its warships to counter China’s rapid naval expansion.

According to military experts, the Hsiung Feng III can cruise at a maximum speed of Mach 2.0, or twice the speed of sound and has a range of up to 130 kilometres. The ramjet-powered anti-ship missile with a single warhead can be launched from land and surface platforms.

The autonomously-ruled Taiwan is building up its military capabilities to counter a rising China which stakes claim over the island nation.


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