Another Arms Race Quietly Builds Between Taiwan And China

Brave Wind

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In preparation for the launch of China’s first aircraft carrier next year, Taiwan has begun deploying locally developed anti-ship missiles called the Hsiung Fend or Brave Wind III, on its warships.According to Focus Taiwan, the high-speed ship-to-ship missile will first be installed on 15 warships, with plans to install mobile launchers along Taiwan’s coast.

The Hsiung Fend has a top speed of mach 2.0, twice the speed of sound, and a strike range of 80 miles. It’s high level of accuracy should allow it to target munitions stores, and fuel tanks, on large ships and aircraft carriers.

Taiwan is depending on the missile being difficult to counter, as it girds itself against a potential Chinese invasion.

The Chinese purchased their new carrier, the Varyag, from the Ukraine, and its completion early next year will mark the culmination of its first aircraft carrier battle group. The timing of the fleets release coincides with the Taiwanese elections, and there has been debate over whether this is intentional or coincidence.

Taiwan is eager to overcome its obstacles in acquiring diesel electric submarines, which it believes are the most efficient way to deter the Chinese from using its new fleet against them.