Taiwan is scheduled to start mass-producing the multiple launch rockets this year after having spent more than a decade researching the system, called Ray Ting 2000 or “Thunder 2000″, the Taipei-based China Times said.
But given the recent detente, the defence ministry has decided not to deploy it on Kinmen, a fortified island group just six kilometres (four miles) from southeast China’s port city of Xiamen at the nearest point, it said.
“Since Taiwan is unlikely to fire the first shot under the circumstances, it does not make sense to place such attack weapons on the offshore islands,” an unnamed military officer told the paper.
The defence ministry declined to comment on the report when contacted by AFP.
The paper said the ministry plans to produce more than 50 systems at a cost of 14.5 billion Taiwan dollars (475 million US dollars).
The weapon, which will replace another Taiwan-made rocket system, is considered particularly useful in neutralising enemy amphibious craft before they reach the beach.
It is capable of launching 40 rockets with a range of up to 45 kilometres (28 miles) within a minute, covering an area the size of 80 football pitches.
Ties between Beijing and Taipei have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party became president in May 2008, promising to improve trade with and tourism from the mainland.
However, despite more than 60 years of separation, China still considers the island part of its territory and has vowed to take it back even if it means war.
Related Topic Tags
Related Defense, Military & Aerospace Forum Discussions
- Royal New Zealand Air Force
- Russian Air Force News & Discussion
- Royal New Zealand Navy Discussions and Updates
- ADF General discussion thread
- Iraqi Air Force and Air Defense
- Iraq war/unrest/fighting
- RussianLand Forces Thread
- Russian Navy Discussions and Updates
- Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates
- Brazilian Naval Strength
- The Royal Navy Discussions and Updates
- Mexico's military defense
- Ukranian Crisis
- Russia tests new missiles
- Australian Army Discussions and Updates