Taiwan conducts test-launch of Sky Bow III extended-range version anti-ballistic missile
According to the Taiwan News website, Taiwan has test-launched an extended-range version of the Sky Bow III also called Tien-Kung III, f surface-to-air anti-ballistic missile during April 2021. The missile was developed by the Taiwan-based National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST).
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Launcher unit of the Sky Bow III with four canister-launchers mounted on a trailer. (Picture source Army Recognition)
The missile was launched from Jiupeng Air Force Base in Pingtung County and Jihui Fishing Port in Taitung County. The Sky Bow or Tien Kung is a series of surface-to-air anti-ballistic missile and anti-aircraft defense systems designed and developed by the Taiwanese defense industry.
The development of the Sky Bow missile was launched in 1981 by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) and the first trials started in 1986. The Sky Bow is the third generation in the Sky Bow missile.
The development of the Sky Bow III started in 1996 and the first tests and evaluations were finalized in 2011. A battery of Sky Bow missile includes the missile, mobile launcher units, fire control units, including phased array radar, communication relay, engagement control station, launcher, and power plant equipment.
The Sky Bow III is very similar to the American Patriot air defense missile system featuring an imported Ku-Band (12–18 GHz) active radar seeker, a directed fragmentation warhead, and improved precision controls for engaging high-speed, low radar cross-section (RCS) targets such as tactical ballistic missiles.
The Sky Bow III missile launcher unit is mounted on a trailer that can be towed by a military truck. It consists of four canister launchers mounted at the rear of the trailer. The missile has a maximum firing range of 200 km.
The Sky Bow III has replaced the American medium-range surface-to-air missile MIM-23 Hawk from 2015 to 2017.