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Taiwan to spend US$2.5 billion on indigenous weapon systems
Central News Agency
2014-08-29 11:14 PM
Taipei, Aug. 29 (CNA) The military plans to spend NT$74.8 billion (US$2.5 billion) to purchase locally-made surface-to-air missile systems, a lawmaker at the Legislative Yuan's National Defense Committee revealed Friday. The Ministry of National Defense plans to allocate the sum over 10 years from 2015 to 2024 to purchase "ground-based air defense weapon systems," Kuomintang lawmaker Lin Yu-fang said in a statement after the ministry's budget plan for 2015 was delivered to the Legislature. "It will be the largest procurement of domestically produced weapon systems in recent years," Lin said, noting that a budget of NT$2.9 billion for 2015 will be the first proposed for the procurement. The air defense system the military is targeting is the Tien Kung III (Sky Bow III) surface-to-air missile system developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to counter tactical ballistic missiles. The new weapons will replace aging Hawk missile systems and be deployed for air defense missions and missile interception and homeland defense combat operations, according to Lin. The Tien Kung III will be able to strengthen the density of Taiwan's anti-aircraft network and close some of the gaps in its middle- and long-range air defense capabilities, Lin added. Apart from the plan to purchase several Tien Kung III missile systems, the ministry has also decided to upgrade the existing Tien Kung systems to promote air defense efficiency and mobility, he said. The Defense Ministry's 2015 budget, meanwhile, proposes spending of NT$319.3 billion, up NT$8.2 billion from the statutory budget in 2014. In the 2015 budget, "military investments" will increase by NT$11.8 billion from the previous year, while "personnel spending" will decline by nearly NT$9.2 billion to some NT$143.1 billion, about 44.8 percent of the total budget, according to Lin. (By Claudia Liu and Elizabeth Hsu)
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