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Sky Horse (天馬飛彈, Tian Ma) is a ballistic missile developed secretly by Taiwan in the late 1970s, with a considerable number being produced.[1]


Sky Horse was developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), and was associated with the country's then-secret nuclear weapons program. With a range of 600-950 kilometres,[2] it would have been capable of striking pre-emptively at ports, airfields or missile bases on the Mainland in an arc from Shanghai to Zhanjiang.[3]

Project cancellation[]

The Sky Horse project was cancelled partly due to pressure from the USA, and partly so that the CSIST could concentrate on the Sky Bow missile.[4] There were calls to revive the program in response to China's missile threats during 1995 and 1996.[5] A senior Taiwanese official admitted that Taiwan was 'taken aback by China's moves', and there were fears that these could lead to an arms race.[6]

General characteristics[]

  • Length: > 20 metres
  • Propellant: Solid fuel[7]
  • Range: Estimated 600 – 950km
  • Guidance: Inertial
  • Launch platform: Land-based
  • Payload: ~ 350kg[8]


  1. "Lien says Taiwan needs new long-range missile". Taipei Times. 2017-02-11. Retrieved 2017-02-17. 
  2. Thad Cochran (1 June 1997). National Missile Defense and Prospects for U.S. - Russia Abm Treaty Accommodation: Hearing Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate. DIANE Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-7881-8304-1. 
  3. Gary Klintworth. "9. CHINESE DEFENSE MODERNIZATION AND THE SECURITY OF TAIWAN" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-08-09. 
  4. Dinshaw Mistry (20 June 2013). Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control. University of Washington Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-295-80252-7. 
  5. Martin Edmonds; Michael Tsai (23 November 2004). Taiwan's Security and Air Power: Taiwan's Defense Against the Air Threat from Mainland China. Routledge. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-134-35053-7. 
  6. "China's Missile Launches Threaten to Trigger an Arms Race in Asia - Page 2 - latimes". 1996-03-21. Retrieved 2017-02-17. 
  7. Technologies underlying weapons of mass destruction. DIANE Publishing. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-4289-2110-8. 
  8. "Design Characteristics of Taiwan’s Ballistic Missiles" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-08-09. 

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