TAIPEI (TVBS News) — A MIM-104 Patriot missile launched by Taiwan's military at Jiupeng Base in Pingtung on Tuesday (Aug. 15) went off without warning mid-air, the Ministry of National Defense reported.
The precision missile strike exercise, conducted by the defense ministry and the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, saw the launch of two MIM-104 Patriot missiles as part of its routine missile tests.
In an unexpected incident, the first Patriot missile self-detonated in mid-air for an unknown reason without causing any additional mishaps.
Air Force Chief of Staff General Tsao Chin-ping emphasized that every missile launch event, whether regular or irregular, can provide beneficial training opportunities with significant implications for combat readiness.
This incident is noteworthy as Patriot missiles, usually tested domestically every two years, have previously had an unblemished launch record.
General Tsao further commented that the military will need to investigate the unusual detonation further and cannot make a report.
Tsao added: “The purpose of missile testing is to verify the results of combat training and the performance of missiles."
"Regardless of the outcome of the missile launch, the military will record and analyze all data for use in preparing for combat readiness."
Jiupeng Base, a research and development facility for defense technology, is used to conduct missile launch tests and artillery training.
The Patriot missile earned its credibility in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and following the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996, Taiwan began purchasing Patriot air defense missile systems from the United States.