Sky Bow III
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Tian Kung III
Parent System: Sky Bow III
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2015
Total Production: ?
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Description: The Sky Bow III or Tian Kung III is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) developed by Chinese Academy of Sciences for the Taiwanese Army starting in 2001. The missile system combines a sophisticated fire control system with the advanced Sky Bow III missile to provide enough firepower to engage multiple airborne threats such as rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. The new missile also allows engagement of stealth fighters and its performance is comparable to the United States (US) Patriot missile system. It is launched vertically utilizing a truck-mounted canister with four missile cells. As of September 2014, Taiwan plans the procurement of 12 missile sets in the 2015-2024 timeframe. The Sky Bow III missile is far cheaper than the Patriot with an unitary price tag of roughly 1/6 and maintenance cost about 1/11 compared with the US-made missile. Its operational evaluation was completed within 2013. The missile is intended as the replacement for the Hawk ground-based air defense system within the Taiwanese Armed Forces.
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