Hsiung Feng IIE

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The Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E) (雄風二E, "Brave Wind IIE") is an advanced surface-to-surface cruise missile system developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) in Taiwan, incorrectly thought to be based upon the earlier HF-2 anti-ship missile.

Development[edit]

According to Taiwan Defense Review (TDR), the HF-2E land attack cruise missile is not a derivative of the Hsiung Feng 2 HF-2 anti-ship missile as it is often incorrectly reported. The use of the "HF-2E" designation is the primary cause of this confusion and was intentional misinformation done to divert attention away from the true nature of the project, which is that of a long range offensive cruise missile. The HF-2E is actually a completely different design and is said to serve a similar function in Taiwan's military as the US Navy Tomahawk (RGM-109) cruise missile.[1] Its launch weight is reported to be in the 3,300–3,500 lb (1,500–1,600 kg) range, including its solid rocket booster.[2] It is essentially a tactical land attack cruise missile designed for use against military target sets, particularly air-defense fire units and command-and-control facilities, and its relatively small warhead size and the rather limited number of missiles planned for procurement clearly suggest that this is not a "first strike" weapon.[3]

The project was first announced in 2001. Following several test firings in 2004 and early 2005 at the Jiu Peng Missile Range in southeastern Taiwan, the baseline HF-2E (Block I) completed its operational evaluation (OPEVAL) in 2005, the missile flying a low-altitude circuit off Taiwan's southeastern coastline between Pingtung and Lanyu Island. An improved HF-2E missile was reportedly tested by CSIST at Jui Peng Missile Range on 2 February 2007.[2]

On 10 January 2006, Jane's Defense Weekly reported that Taiwan has built three prototypes of the HF-2E, and planned to build up to 50 of the missiles by 2010, and between 500 and 1000 missiles after 2010. The missiles have a range of over 700 km (430 mi) and could threaten major Chinese cities such as Shanghai. Jane's claimed that the HF-2E could reach ranges of up to 2,000 km (1,200 mi) if equipped with more powerful engines from the United States, although the U.S. refuses to provide such technology to Taiwan due to concerns over the Missile Technology Control Regime. This has resulted in Taiwan's high tech industries and government developing their own indigenous Taiwanese high performance engines.

The baseline HF-2E Block I land attack cruise missile (LACM) is said to be powered by an indigenously-developed Taiwanese turbofan engine believed to be rated in the 800 lbf (3.6 kN) thrust range and developed by CSIST partially based on technology and experience from the Microturbo 078 turbojet engine used on Hsiung Feng 2 (HF-2) anti-ship cruise missiles. When equipped with a standard unitary high-explosive 1,000 lb (450 kg)-class warhead, it is said to have a maximum range of 700 km. Other types of warhead are said to be in development, such as cluster submunitions and a hard target penetrator warhead. TDR also reported that through modification of the existing engine and combined with the redesign and reduction of the missile's control and electronic systems, CSIST was able to free up enough internal space/weight in the missile to allow it to carry additional fuel and extend its range to over 2,000 km,[2] although a Defense News report incorrectly claimed the other version was only an 800 km range missile.[3] The ultimate objective is to develop a missile that has an objective range of over 5,000 km (3,100 mi), using a technologically advanced Taiwanese power plant with superior fuel efficiency and mission endurance, and possibly a more advanced and lighter miniaturized warhead.[2]

The HF-2E Block I missile uses inertial guidance with Global Positioning System (GPS) and TERCOM updates. For terminal guidance, it uses infrared homing (Imaging infrared) with an autonomous digital target recognition system. The IIR terminal seeker is used for target acquisition and to positively identify an optimal aim point. The target image is then compared against digitized files in the memory of the on-board guidance computer (DSMAC terminal guidance). The HF-2E block I missile's cruising speed is high subsonic, typically in the Mach 0.75–Mach 0.85 (571–647 mph; 919–1,041 km/h) range. When the missile approaches hostile territory, it would descend to an altitude of about 15–30 m (49–98 ft). On its final approach to its target, the missile would climb up to avoid any physical barriers and to allow its IIR seeker to acquire the target and identify an optimal aim point before plunging down onto the designated impact point. The report in Taiwan Defense Review, credited the HF-2E block I missile with a pre-terminal accuracy of around 15 m.[2]

Overall,the HF-2E was developed earlier than Korea's cruise missile but is vastly inferior to the latter due to:

  • 1) Bad CEP of 12 m while Korea's has 3 m
  • 2) Confirmed range of only around 600 km while Korea's missile has a confirmed range of 1,500 km
  • 3) Overall lack of sophisticated computer technology as Taiwan, unlike Korea, does not have the required technology base
  • 4) Engine problems; Korea has developed suitable engines outperforming Israeli ones while Taiwan has only recently started development of jet engines. Taiwan's only developed jet engines are below 300 lbs thrust range and used for RC airplane/various industrial applications.

The HF-2E missile is primarily deployed operationally in ground-mobile launchers. The launcher vehicle carries the missiles in protective aluminum box launchers, with wings and control fins retracted, conceptually similar to the trailer-mounted mobile launchers for Tien Kung Sky Bow series surface-to-air missiles and HF-2 coastal defense missiles. The launchers are normally be based in hardened shelters at military installations, with deployment to remote, pre-surveyed launch sites during alert situations.[2]

The low-rate production of the Block I missile was to have started in July 2005 and using funds originally allocated for its R&D, at least five missiles were built. The unit cost per missile was estimated to be at US$3.08 million (2003 US$ dollar value).[2] Another report made in 2006 claimed that three batteries comprising twenty-four mobile launchers and forty-eight missiles were in the final stages of testing and may be fielded within two years.[4] The HF-2E is currently in low volume production in the Project ChiChun (戟隼, jǐ zhǔn, lance hawk). A Taipei Times news report claimed that President Ma Ying Jeou ordered the production of over 500 to 1000 HF-2E missiles in 2008.[5] Now approved and cleared to enter full volume/serial production in 2011.[6]

General characteristics[edit]

  • Primary Function: Land attack cruise missile
  • Power Plant: Solid propellant rocket booster, turbojet or turbofan engine[2] for sustained cruise flight
  • Range: 2000 km (eventual goal of over 5000 km with a new Taiwanese designed and built turbo fan engine)
  • Top Speed: Mach 0.85 (647 mph; 1,041 km/h)
  • Guidance: INS and commercial GPS with in-flight waypoints and corrected by digital maps/terrain matching and forward-looking imaging infrared (IIR) seeker with autonomous target recognition for terminal guidance[2]
  • Launch Weight: 3,000–3,500 lb (1,400–1,600 kg) including solid rocket booster[1]
  • Precision: Within 10 m
  • Warhead: 200 kg (440 lb)
  • Date deployed: Unknown—approved for official low rate production as of January 2008

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fu S. Mei. "Towards a Counter-Deterrent Capability Part I", Taiwan Defense Review, 21 June 2001.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fu S. Mei. "HF-2E Cruises Along", Taiwan Defense Review, 27 March 2007.
  3. ^ a b Minnick, Wendell. "Taiwan Proceeds on LACM", Defense News, 15 September 2008.
  4. ^ Stokes, Mark A. "Taiwan's Security—Beyond the Special Budget", American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, March 2006.[dead link]
  5. ^ Hazeldine, Richard. "US Trying to block Taiwan missiles: 'Defense News'", Taipei Times, 29 October 2008.
  6. ^ http://udn.com/NEWS/NATIONAL/BREAKINGNEWS1/6021660.shtml[dead link]

External links[edit]