The Sky Sword II (Chinese: 天劍二, Tien Chien II), or TC-2, is a medium-range, radar guidedair-to-air missile. It has an inertial navigation system, a data-link for mid-course guidance and active radar homing for terminal guidance, beyond visual range. It also has ECCM capability and can engage multiple targets. According to Su Tzu-yun, Chief Executive Officer at the Center for Advanced Technology at Tamkang University, they are a cost-effective design which can perform a key role in Taiwan’s defense strategy, and substantially offset China’s air superiority. Some details of its design were revealed for the first time at the Paris Air Show in 2015. The pulse doppler radar seeker reportedly has a detection range of 9.3 km.
Development of the Sky Sword II family began during the 1990s.
In 2017 a Sky Sword II launched by a F-CK-1 during a training exercise failed to ignite and fell into the sea. In 2019 TC-2 was among 117 missiles fired during a training exercise off Taiwan’s west coast.
A ship-launched, surface-to-air version was later developed and designated TC-2N. It began development in 1994, and a ground-based test was first carried out against a low-flying drone in 1997. This development was revealed to the public in 2005 and the intention to make it compatible with vertical launch methods was later announced in 2006. The first ship-based launch was held in mid 2014. In the naval role the TC-2N fills an air defense gap between the Phalanx CIWS and SM-2 systems with a range of 30 km.
The missile has all-weather capability, is equipped with a thrust-vectoring booster to increase its range as well as maneuverability during launch phase (although early ship-based launch trials were carried out without this feature), and can engage anti-ship missiles and aircraft. It also has folding control surfaces to be quad-packed into either above-deck oblique launchers or in-deck vertical launch systems.
By May 2021 the TC-2N had passed its live fire trials and operational evaluations. Final evaluation was conducted aboard the Tuo Chiang-class corvetteTa Chiang.