Since its formation, the Republic of China (Taiwan) fears of attack from the people’s Republic of China and is continually upgrading its armed forces. One of the last steps in this direction was the adoption of a new cruise missile Yun Feng. This product was developed at least two thousand years, and in 2019, after years of waiting, entered service.
The secret history
About the project “Uneven” (“Cloud peak”) was first officially reported in 2012, but the work began long before that. According to some estimates, the development of new missile weapon was a direct result of the so-called Third crisis in the Taiwan Strait (1995-96) However, faced with certain difficulties and the desired results could only be obtained at the end of ten years.
The missile was created by the Zhongshan Institute of science and technology – leading research and project organization of the Ministry of national defense. The work was done in strict secrecy. Also, measures were taken of conspiracy events. For example, flight tests of the product Yun Feng was held “under the guise of” testing missiles Hsiung Feng III, already known potential adversary.
According to the reports of previous years, the rocket “Uneven” was to come into service in 2014/15 but this did not happen. Moreover, in 2016, the Taiwanese and foreign media reported about the possible termination of the project. It was assumed that such a solution Taipei wants Beijing to show their peacefulness. However, Taiwan’s defense Ministry quickly denied these reports, and indicated further work.
At the beginning of 2018, there were reports on the further development of the Yun Feng missile. In the framework of the project with the code Qilin proposed to upgrade the products and increase the range. It is also planned to study the issue of use of the product “of Uneven” as a launch vehicle for small satellites. The cost of the project “qilin” was estimated at 12.4 billion Taiwan dollars (approx. $ 390 million. USA).
In August 2019, the Ministry of national defense announced the start of production and exploitation of new weapons. For the army ordered 10 self-propelled launchers and 20 missiles, cruise missiles, Yun Feng. Also, work on the project Qilin. The first tests of the upgraded rocket is scheduled for 2021.
The known data, the product Yun Feng is a supersonic cruise (sometimes it is mistakenly referred to as a ballistic) missile vertical launch, capable of hitting ground targets at ranges up to 1500 km In the near future is expected to create new modifications of such weapons with increased performance and innovative features.
The missile is constructed in a cylindrical body with ogive nose fairing (probably reset when you start the main engine). Done folding the wing; the tail set rudder at the start is in the unfolded position. The missile equipped with a guidance system of an unknown type. Dimensions and launch weight of the product is unknown.
Yun Feng is equipped with a solid rocket engine, providing the gathering with a launcher, the rise to a predetermined height and acceleration to the required speed. When the preset parameters included ramjet sustainer engine. With the help of the rocket reaches the speed of about 1000 m/s.
Launch and propulsion engines consistently provide rise to a considerable height, where lies the main part of the trajectory. In the target area, the missile begins to decline. Similar flight profile allows to reduce the resistance loss of air and a certain way to increase the range. In the existing configuration, this setting reach up to 1500 km.
To engage targets used armor-piercing-explosive warhead with a mass of 225 kg. This type of warhead is characteristic of anti-ship missiles, but on such opportunities products Yun Feng is not known.
Start”, Uneven” is made with ground launchers. Initial plans called for the deployment of fixed installations in the mountainous parts of Taiwan, but later canceled them. Modeling combat situations showed that these objects are at high risk and can quickly be destroyed by the enemy. In connection with this missile system is made mobile.
It is reported that the launcher for Feng Yun is based on five-axes special chassis and carries only one missile. Also, probably, the complex includes other machines for different purposes. It is assumed that the placement of the complex on a self-propelled chassis will increase the mobility and reduce the risks of enemy attack.
The development of the project
For several years, work is underway on the project “qilin”, which has two main objectives. The first is the improvement of the power plant to improve the flight performance of the rocket. After this upgrade the “Uneven” is expected to be able to hit targets at ranges up to 2,000 km.
Upgraded weapons can also become a booster. In this configuration, the cruise missile will have to deliver loads of 50-200 kg in low earth orbit height of 500 km. Probably, obtaining such opportunities is directly related to improving flight characteristics, which is the main goal of the current project.
Last summer, the Ministry of defense of Taiwan announced the launch of production of new weapons. Placed order for 10 mobile launchers (possibly together with other funds of the missile complex) and 20 missiles “Uneven” the first batch. According to foreign media reports, planned or already implemented new order. In total in the foreseeable future, the army wants to get 50 missiles of a new type.
In its current form is complex Yun Feng is a very interesting drum system with a wide combat capabilities. Open data suggests that the new Taiwanese missile can be a serious threat to mainland China in case of conflict. However, the full potential of such a threat is not be implemented.
The range of products of “Uneven” in the basic version is 1500 km. This means that such missiles, depending on the starting point, capable of hitting targets in China at a depth of about 800-1000 from the coastline of the Taiwan Strait. Danger zone gets a lot of military facilities of China, including strategic importance.
Mobile version of the complex makes it difficult to timely discovery and defeat of those forces or other armed forces. A cruise missile is capable of speeds of approx. 1 km/s, which becomes a serious challenge to enemy air defenses. 225-kg warhead capable of hitting different ground objects that do not have special protection.
In the foreseeable future it is expected the appearance of upgraded missiles with a range of 2,000 km, which will be a new challenge for China. In the zone of action of this product can get even Beijing with a clear strategic risk.
However, the new Taiwanese missile should not be overestimated. Its real potential is seriously limited by the number. So far they have ordered only 10 launchers, which is insufficient for a massive strike on all the main purpose of a potential enemy. In addition, the question remains penetration of mainland China. The PLA has developed remedies that can promptly detect and hit all launched missiles.
The tool of confrontation
Taiwan seriously afraid of possible aggression from China and is preparing its armed forces to open conflict. One of the methods of increasing military power is the creation of new weapons such as cruise missiles Yun Feng. The duty of such complexes will begin soon and is expected to have a beneficial effect on the overall defense capability of the country.
For a number of reasons complexes “Uneven” will not “wonder weapons” that can single-handedly prevent a possible aggression or to deliver a powerful retaliatory strike and end the war. However, in this case the project is of great interest – as well as other independent development of Taiwan in the field of missile technology.
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