Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology

Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology



CSIST was established by the ROC government in 1969 to serve as a military R&D and systems integration center. Early work includes various missile and radar systems, as well as systems integration for ROC military aircraft and ships.

The institute was involved in several attempted nuclear weapons programs during the Cold War. In 1967, a nuclear weapons program began under the auspices of the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) of CIST. The ROC was able to acquire nuclear technology from abroad (including a research reactor from Canada and low-grade plutonium from the United States) allegedly for a civilian energy system, but in actuality to develop fuel nuclear weapons.

After the International Atomic Energy Agency found evidence of the ROC's efforts to produce weapons-grade plutonium, Taipei agreed in September 1976 under U.S. pressure to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Though the nuclear reactor was soon shut down and the plutonium mostly returned to the U.S., work continued secretly.

A secret program was revealed again when Colonel Chang, Hsien-yi, deputy director of nuclear research at INER, defected to the U.S. in December 1987 and produced a cache of incriminating documents. General Hau, Pei-tsun claimed that scientists in Taiwan had already produced a controlled nuclear reaction. Under pressure from the U.S., the program was halted yet again.

Presently there is no evidence that a nuclear weapons program is being pursued, and government officials have stated that Taiwan will not develop nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

The Institute expanded to the development of dual use technology in 1994. With the expansion of Taiwan's civilian space program, CSIST has also become involved in design of various satellite and launch systems, the latter of which have consisted primarily of scientific rockets to study the ionosphere.

Developed weapons systems

Fighter aircraft

*AIDC F-CK Indigenous Defence Fighter: Developed by division later spun off as AIDC.


*Hsiung Feng I (HF-1): Sea and ground based subsonic Anti-ship missile.
*Hsiung Feng II (HF-2): Improved HF-1 with air-to-ground.
*Hsiung Feng IIE (HF-2E): Land attack cruise missile system based on the HF-2.
*Hsiung Feng III: Supersonic anti-ship missile currently in development.
*Sky Bow I (TK-1): Surface-to-air missile system.
*Sky Bow II (TK-2): Advanced version of TK-1 with longer range and some anti-missile capability.
*Sky Bow III (TK-3): Anti-ballistic missile system (partially based on Patriot-2 technology) - in development.
*Sky Spear: Short range SSBM
*Sky Sword I (TC-1): IR guided air-to-air missile.
*Sky Sword II (TC-2): Radar guided air-to-air missile.

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