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NCSIST Kestrel

Man-Portable Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher [ 2015 ]

The Kestrel is an indigenous man-portable, armor-defeating solution developed by the nation of Taiwan.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/21/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The constant threat of a Chinese amphibious invasion of the nation of Taiwan behooves the island nation to invest heavily in its defense forces. In some cases, the country is forced to design, develop, and manufacture homegrown solutions to modern battlefield problems and this has proven the case with the "Kestrel" shoulder-fired anti-tank rocket launcher. The weapon system entered service with the Republic of China Armed Forces in 2015 while design (and subsequent manufacturing) work by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) began in 2008 to help satisfy a standing requirement of the country's Marine Corps. This initiative then led to the finalized, trialed form of 2012.

To date, some 500 units have been delivered to Taiwan's defense forces which have operated the American M72 LAW (Light Anti-tank Weapon) for decades.

On the whole, the Kestrel is a conventional, man-portable, shoulder-fired anti-tank solution. It requires Line-of-Sight (LoS) to the target, utilizing a High-Explosive, Anti-Tank (HEAT) projectile. Sighting is through an iron arrangement and the frame supports the mounting of more advanced optics for accurized fire at-range. Optimal range reaches out to 400 meters though this is variable depending on the projectile at play as a High-Explosive Squash Head (HESH) projectile is also available for the launcher (greater penetration at reduced engagement ranges).

The system is of 110mm caliber, weighs 11lb (5 kg), and can be operated by a single infantryman. Its general design is reminiscent of both early-form and modern day tubed tank-killing solution, being tubular in shape and open at both ends of the launch tube (made of Fiber-Reinforced Plastic = FRP). The projectile sits within the tube, exiting from the muzzle while exhausting from the rear of the unit. The ergonomically-angled pistol grip / trigger unit sits under the tube in the usual way with optics mounted over the frame.

Beyond its fielding by primary Taiwanese defense forces, the system is also on order / in service with the Coast Guard Administration.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Taiwan national flag graphic


Man-Portable Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher

National Ching-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) - Taiwan
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Taiwan Taiwan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Anti-Armor / Anti-Tank / Anti-Material
Designed to engage and defeat armor / enemy tanks at range.
Special Forces
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.
Asymmetric Warfare
Design is highly variable / low-cost based on battlefield requirement and available materials; general use is in urban settings against an organized foe for high casualty count.

Despite its size / weight, the product can be transported by foot infantry.
Internal action allows release of single round per trigger pull, actuating a semi-automatic loading mechanism for successive shots.
Inherent ability to engage / defeat armored targets at range.
Ability to defeat fortified / reinforced structures.
Versatility is such that it can be mounted to vehicles as an anti-infantry / area suppression solution.
Supports mounting of optics (scopes) to aid in accuracy for ranged fire.
Supports 'iron sights' allowing for inherent accuracy in ranged fire.
Ease-of-use coupled with relative simplicity of combined components makes this entry a cost-effective solution for unconventional elements / fighting forces.
Detonation of this entry is reliant on impact at target / target area; typical quality seen in direct-fire weapons (rocket / missile launchers).

Overall Length
1,100 mm
43.31 in
Barrel Length
1,100 mm
43.31 in
Empty Wgt
11.02 lb
5.00 kg

Iron; Optional Optics.



One shot per trigger pull; self-loading or auto-loading action aided by internal mechanism; trigger management (and initial cocking) typically required by the operator; subsequent shots are aided by the unlocked / moved bolt.
Impact Detonation
Design relies on impact on target for detonation.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)



Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a shoulder-fired rocket projectile
Rounds / Feed

Single-Shot; Reusable Launch Tube.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
1,315 ft
(401 m | 438 yd)

Kestrel - Base Series Name.

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Official image from the office of the President; Public Release.


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