Taiwan has plans to deploy its own Hsiungfeng 2E cruise missiles by the end of 2010, according to lawmaker Lin Yu-fang.

The defence ministry did not provide details of the weaponry development project and declined to specify the range of the missiles or the number to be put into service.

The cruise missile was developed by Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology and can be launched on land or sea with a range of 800km (500 miles), according to Agence France-Presse.

The institute has spent TWD2.2bn ($68m) each year since 2000 on developing the missiles.

The missile would be capable of hitting airports and missile bases in south-east China, as well as cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The military has produced dozens of cruise missiles, a ministry source said.