Hsiung Feng IIE

The Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E; Chinese: 雄風二E巡弋飛彈; literally: 'Brave Wind IIE Cruise Missile') is a surface-to-surface cruise missile system developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) in Taiwan.

Hsiung Feng IIE
TypeCruise missile
Place of origin Taiwan
Service history
In service2011 present
Used byRepublic of China (Taiwan) Armed Forces
Production history
ManufacturerNational Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology
Unit cost~3m USD (2003)
ProducedIn production
Specifications
Mass1,600 kg (3,500 lb)
Length600 cm (236 in)
Diameter510 mm (20 in)

Operational
range
Various reported ranges from 600 km to >2,000km
Speedsubsonic
Guidance
system
GPS, TERCOM, and inertial guidance

Development

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] In 2017 the missiles received an extensive upgrade to increase their effectiveness against naval targets.[4]

Description

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 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]

Production and fielding

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.[5] 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.[6] Now approved and cleared to enter full volume/serial production in 2011.[7] It supposedly can deliver a 440 lb (200 kg) unitary warhead 600 km (370 mi).[8] The Associated Press has reported a range of 1,500 km.[4]

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 SCMP has reported that the HF-IIE is closely watched by the PLA's Rocket Force.[9]

General characteristics

  • Primary Function: Land attack cruise missile
  • Power Plant: Solid propellant rocket booster, turbojet or turbofan engine[2] for sustained cruise flight
  • Range: Alternately reported to be 600 km,[10] 1,500 km,[4] and 2,000 km.[2]
  • 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

References

  1. Fu S. Mei. "Towards a Counter-Deterrent Capability Part I", Taiwan Defense Review, 21 June 2001.
  2. Fu S. Mei. "HF-2E Cruises Along", Taiwan Defense Review, 27 March 2007.
  3. Minnick, Wendell. "Taiwan Proceeds on LACM", Defense News, 15 September 2008.
  4. Ralph, Jennings. "Taiwan steps up production of missiles to create asymmetric advantage over China military build-up". nationalpost.com. The Associated Press. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  5. Stokes, Mark A. "Taiwan's Security—Beyond the Special Budget" Archived 26 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, March 2006.
  6. Hazeldine, Richard. "US Trying to block Taiwan missiles: 'Defense News'", Taipei Times, 29 October 2008.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Taiwan to upgrade indigenous missile capabilities - Defensenews.com, 6 February 2017
  9. Chan, Minnie. "Taiwan reveals deterrent to China as satellite images show missile capable of targeting mainland". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  10. "Ministry mum on HF-2Es on Penghu - Taipei Times". www.taipeitimes.com. Retrieved 16 March 2017.

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