The Defense Post reports that Taiwan is preparing to begin development of an aircraft-launched version of the Hung Phong-3 supersonic launch missile (HF-3) at an estimated cost of more than $314 million over a five-year period.
The new version of the HF-3 will be fitted to the IDF fighter jet produced by Taiwan itself. Once developed, it will be the island’s first land-launched, ship-to-ship anti-ship missile.
Turning the HF-3 from a warship-launched version to an aircraft requires reducing the missile’s weight to 950 kg. Fuel capacity and range will also be reduced.
In January 2019, Taiwan upgraded its operational capability, range and HF-3 payload so that the missile could be launched from the Escort Ship of Da Giang.
The HF-3 is a third-generation anti-ship missile developed by the Trung Son Institute of Science and Technology. Compared to the previous generation HF-1 and HF-2 missiles, the HF-3 is powered by a ramjet engine, so the speed increases significantly.
The HF-3 has a range of more than 100 kilometers, can be switched to inertial guidance in flight, has an active radar detector in the terminal stage of navigation, flight control, target search and cruise control.
Currently, the cam giang patrol boat and the warship Thanh Thanh are both equipped with HF-3.
Amid growing military pressure from China, Taiwan has dramatically increased its defense spending — focusing on its own weapons development.