According to Forbes, a contract to buy 400 Harpoon missiles from the US will help Taiwan fulfill its goal of owning 1,200 anti-ship missiles to sink half of China’s fleet.
Assuming a 50-70% chance of hitting the target of each anti-ship missile, 1,200 missiles will help the island defeat hundreds of enemy warships. Of course, this is only a calculation based on Taiwan theory. According to the plan, Taiwan will receive a batch of 400 missiles from the US between 2023-2024. However, due to the delay, this contract may not be completed until 2026.
While waiting for the US delivery, Taiwan is having to increase the number of defense missiles with domestic missiles such as Hsiung Feng II and Hsiung Feng III.
In recent decades, Taiwan has mainly relied on foreign weapons procurement, especially the US, to strengthen its defenses. The island’s military might of 23 million people is far below China, a country with 1.4 billion inhabitants. According to CNN, by the end of 2020, China overtook the US and became the nation with the largest naval force in the world. China’s annual defense spending is 25 times as much as Taiwan’s.
The Harpoon anti-ship missile that Taiwan is hoping for is a Boeing product, which is always one of the terrifying weapons for warships. Although born a long time ago, but thanks to continuous improvements, this anti-ship missile remains one of the most feared things at sea.
Harpoon is designed quite flexibly to be equipped on many launch vehicles such as warships, submarines and strategic bombers and fighters. Currently, 22 countries and territories possess this dangerous anti-ship missile.
The Harpoon anti-ship missile is a standard weapon on American warships, as well as aircraft. With a warhead of 221kg, the Harpoon missile can sink thousands of tons of warships. Harpoon is an anti-ship missile developed by Boeing in 1977. It is estimated that there are 7,800 missiles with many versions built since then.
Currently the newest and most powerful variant is the AGM-84 Harpoon Block II, which has a range of up to 315km. The missile is 3.8-4.6 m long depending on the version, 34 cm in diameter, and a 221 kg warhead.