Taiwan’s missile program makes up a substantial element of its deterrence posture against the People’s Republic of China (PRC), its primary security concern. Historically, Taiwan has limited the composition of its missile forces to mostly defensive assets, such as antiship cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles. Taiwanese leaders have generally considered this approach an effective means to deter threats to Taiwanese sovereignty while minimizing tensions with the PRC. It has also allowed Taiwan to maintain U.S. defense support even after the United States officially shifted its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
In more recent years, however, Taiwan has begun developing and deploying missile systems better suited for strike missions, including longer-range, land-attack cruise missiles. Taiwan has pursued these programs discreetly to avoid raising concerns in the United States or the People’s Republic.
As most countries do not maintain official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it has sometimes been challenging for Taiwan to acquire more advanced weapon systems from the international market. Consequently, the island nation has often opted to domestically develop newer missile technology, which has spawned a robust Taiwanese defense industry.
|Hsiung Feng I / IA||ASCM||40 km||Obsolete|
|Hsiung Feng II||ASCM||100 - 120 km||Operational|
|Hsiung Feng IIE||LACM||600 km||Operational|
|Hsiung Feng III||ASCM||120 - 150 km||Operational|
|Tien Chi||SRBM||120 km||Operational|
|Wan Chien||ALCM||240 km||Operational|
|Yun Feng||LACM||1,200 - 2,000 km||In Development|