Taiwan Procures 10,000 Domestic Kestrel Anti-Tank Missiles - M5 Dergi
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Taiwan Procures 10,000 Domestic Kestrel Anti-Tank Missiles

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The Taiwanese government has ordered over 10,000 Kestrel anti-tank missiles from the state-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology.

According to local media reports, the missiles will be used to improve the combat skills of military conscripts undergoing training to handle actual weapons for war.

The government acknowledged the need for more anti-tank weapons as it announced the extension of compulsory military service from four months to one year.

Defense officials said every soldier or conscript in the island nation serving in anti-tank units should gain practical experience in firing missiles.

The Ministry of National Defense chose the shoulder-launched Kestrel for training because it is reportedly easy to carry and being purchased at the reduced price of 100,000 New Taiwan dollars ($3,115) per unit.

In September last year, the Taiwanese government ordered 5,000 Kestrel missiles for the army. Another purchase was made in August for 5,962 units.

About the Weapon

The Kestrel anti-tank missile is a single-use weapon designed for coastal and mountainous areas of Taiwan.

It can fire two projectiles: a rocket with a high-explosive anti-tank warhead for armored vehicles and a larger rocket with a high-explosive squash-head warhead for penetrating structures.

The weapon can pierce a 30-centimeter-thick (12 inches) brick wall and hit targets at a maximum distance of 400 meters (1,312 feet).

It is also equipped with night vision to support missions in low-light environments.

Although the Kestrel has been proven effective against some armored vehicles, it is reportedly incapable of penetrating the frontal armor of the Chinese-made Type 96 and Type 99 tanks.

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