Taiwan to modify Phalanx CIWS for air field defense
Taiwan has decided not to buy three sets of Centurion C-RAM system from the United States after it was told by the Pentagon that no evaluation testing data exists for the Centurion as it was urgent development program to counter rocket and mortar attacks on bases in Iraq.
Furthermore, Taiwan had wanted the Centurion to act as an area defensive weapon system to protect its airfields but the system can only do point defense.
A tender to buy such a system from overseas was floated in 2018.
Therefore, the military has decided to invite the local National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) to modify the Phalanx close-in weapon system (CWIS) for its needs.
The institute had previously taken a Phalanx CIWS from the Navy’s Yang-class destroyer and installed it on a mountain top to protect the Songshan radar station on the top of Zhuzi Mountain. A total of seven Gearing-class destroyers transferred to Taiwan as the Yang-class had been upgraded under Wu Chin III program that turn these World War Two ships into guided-missile destroyers.
USN / Public domain
However, since the Air Force’s requirement is for area defense, the new system will have to be integrated with the service’s Sky Guard air defense system. It will modify existing Phalanx CIWS in the inventory for the purpose.
These new systems will be used to guard the underground air bases at Hualien and Taitung.
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