Friday, July 8, 2011

Taiwan Fires Homemade Submarine Launched Cruise Missile

     Taiwan late last month launched an unknown number of Submarine Launched Cruise Missiles (SLCMs) in a drill, as Defense News reports.
     The missiles launched were Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles (Brave Wind II), and were launched as part of a 5 year project to enhance the capabilities of Taiwan's 2 Hai Lung-class submarines. The Hsiung Feng II has a range of 80 kilometers, a max speed of Mach 0.65 (482 MPH, possibly as high as Mach 0.85 or 630 MPH), and a warhead weighing 180 kilograms (possibly 225kg).
     If the Taiwanese Navy was able to fit cruise missiles into the Hai Lung-class submarines, it would pose no small threat to the Chinese, because diesel-electric submarines are extremely quiet. If this threat is real then it would pose a threat to any Chinese attempts to invade Taiwan, the threat would be especially high for relatively small ships like frigates and possibly destroyers. 
     However, as the photo above shows, the Hai Lung-class is a bit narrow, with a beam of only 8.4 meters. Thus, I would be curious to see how they managed to fit a cruise missile(s) into a submarine that narrow. 

Photo Credit: Republic of China Navy

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