Taiwan has reportedly flight tested several indigenous missiles and artillery in April 2020. According to Taiwanese media reports, Taiwan’s National Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) issued 12 days of live-fire announcements near its test range in Pingtung, launching the Sky Bow 3 surface-to-air missile on multiple occasions and the Yun Feng land-attack cruise missile between April 14-15. Under development since the late 1990s, the Yun Feng cruise missile reportedly possesses a range of 1,500 km.
The Yun Feng (“Cloud Peak”) is a supersonic land attack cruise missile of Republic of China (Taiwan). The missile was developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) and has a ramjet engine with a solid rocket booster capable of a speed of Mach 3 or about 3,704 km/h. It can carry a semi-armor piercing high explosive and fragmentation warhead. The missile is one of the few assets within Taiwan’s arsenal which can reach targets in north and central People’s Republic of China.
In 2018 it was announced that NTD 12.4 billion (~ USD 390 million) had been allocated by the Ministry of Defense under the “Qilin Project” to both extend the range of the missile as well as to adapt it for satellite launch. In August 2019 mass production of the enhanced Yun Feng cruise missile commenced with an initial order for 20 missiles and 10 mobile launch vehicles. The enhanced variant has been described as a high altitude ramjet powered cruise missile.
Land-based missile systems including Yun Feng and other cruise missiles are a vital asset of Taiwan’s arsenal when engaging in asymmetric warfare against China, Su stated. As the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) poses the greatest threat to Taiwan in the event of a military conflict, the island country would be able to better defend itself if it could launch attacks on China’s air bases. The missile is being upgraded to function as a satellite launch vehicle by National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology. This vehicle will be capable of delivering satellites between 50 and 200 kilograms at a low earth orbit of around 500 kilometres.