Taiwan has recently released photos and videos of the latest generation surface launched anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles. The two include the supersonic surface launched Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile and Tien Kung III surface-to-air missiles. Both were developed at the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology.
Hsiung Feng III missiles are already installed on Taiwan’s Chengkung-class frigates and Chinchiang-class corvettes. The 502-ton Tuo Chiang, Taiwan’s first locally designed stealth missile corvette, will also be equipped with the missiles in the future, according to military sources.
The release of the images came as China also unveiled its new CX-1 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile at the recent Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, showing that both countries are placing emphasis on supersonic anti-ship missiles.
Hsiung Feng III uses two solid rocket boosters and a liquid propelled ramjet, accelerating the missile to a cruising speed of Mach 2.5-3.0. Its range is about 80 nautical miles (150 km), with minimum attack range of 16 nm (30 km). In contrast, China’s CX-1 supersonic anti-ship missile – unveiled at Airshow China in November 2014 – is capable of striking surface targets at 22-150 nm (40-280 km.) [ismember]The missile uses an inertial guidance for mid-course navigation and X-band radar for terminal homing. The seeker that employs a monopulse planar array evolved from the HF-2 anti-ship missile series, it uses improved digital signal processing and data-handling capabilities to meet shorter reaction time requirements of supersonic flight.[/ismember]
[nonmember]More reading for subscribers…[/nonmember][ismember]Supersonic anti-ship missiles are becoming popular among Asian nations, with missiles such as Yakhont, Brahmos, CX-1, and now, Hsiung Feng III fielded with missile corvettes, frigates and destroyers, as well as in coastal defense roles.
Due to their relatively high immunity to ship missile-defenses, and the short flight time, leaving less countermeasure options to the defenders, supersonic anti-ship missiles are providing the first line of attack, but by no means, the only option. Typically, a supersonic missile would fly in 35 seconds the same distance a subsonic missile would reach in two minutes.
Most navies are combining the supersonic missiles with stealthier, sea skimming subsonic missiles, striking high value targets from different directions and at various attack profiles.[/ismember]