The Taiwanese defense ministry has announced that the country will more than double its annual missile production capacity amid increasing tensions with China.
In a report sent to parliament on Wednesday and reviewed by Reuters, it was revealed that the island nation plans to increase missile production from 207 to 497 per year.
The new initiative covers the development of Wan Chien air-to-ground missiles, Hsiung Feng IIE missiles, and the long-range Hsiung Sheng land-attack missile, reportedly capable of reaching China.
Taiwan has already approved an extra 240 billion Taiwanese dollars ($8.6 billion) in military spending over the next five years to increase its defense capabilities amid pressure from China, which insists that the southeast Asian nation is part of its territory.
More than 60 percent of the country’s total military spending will go toward producing or acquiring anti-ship weapons such as land-based missile systems.
The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology is also seeking to build 34 new missile production facilities to cope with the targeted manufacturing increase starting in 2023.
Acquiring More Missile Launchers
Earlier this week, the US Department of Defense announced that Boeing would supply Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers to Taiwan under a $498 million foreign military sales contract.
The agreement includes the delivery of 100 launcher transporter units, 25 radar units, and Harpoon Coastal Defense System training equipment.
Work for the contract will be performed at various locations within the US, including South Dakota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and New York.
The contract is expected to be completed by December 2028.
The increase in annual missile production in Taiwan is part of the country’s ongoing military modernization efforts, which have been considered a “top priority” for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
She recently told a US delegation that China’s military threats are rapidly increasing and that thousands of Chinese missiles are aimed at the small island nation, ready for attack.
Despite the growing tensions, Tsai vowed to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty.