Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has signified its intent to procure more long-range precision strike missiles from the US to bolster its invasion deterrence.
In a report submitted to the country’s legislature earlier this month, the ministry stated that the weapons will be integrated into its fleet of F-16V fighter aircraft.
Taipei wants the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, the AGM-84 Standoff Land Attack Missile – Expanded Response, and the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon.
It also mentioned two unnamed air-launched missiles, believed to be two variants of the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM).
According to the ministry, the weapons are expected to enhance the ground and sea attack capabilities of the F-16s operating from the southeastern coast of Taiwan.
About the AGM-158 JASSM
Developed by Lockheed Martin, the AGM-158 JASSM is a conventional ground attack cruise missile originally designed for the US Air Force.
The standard version has a 370-kilometer (230 miles) range, while the extended-range variant can hit targets up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away.
They carry a 432-kilogram (952-pound) class penetration and blast fragmentation warhead and boast an infrared seeker for terminal guidance.
The missiles have been fully integrated into the F-15E, F-16, B-1B, B-2, and B-52H tactical aircraft.
A Taiwanese defense ministry spokesperson said the country’s defense goals focus on bolstering six key areas: long-range precision strike, integrated air defense, joint homeland defense, cyber warfare, joint sea control, and joint surveillance.
Among the six, long-range precision strike is reportedly the highest priority, as it would allow the military to disrupt enemy deployment of sea and air units.
Apart from foreign procurement, the island nation wants to achieve its goals by developing long-range weapons systems domestically.
So far, Taiwan has developed the Hsiung Sheng II-E and Wan Chien land-attack cruise missiles and the Chien Hsiang loitering munition.