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Taiwan's annual Han Kuang military exercises begin

2014/09/15 12:57:25

Taipei, Sept. 15 (CNA) Taiwan kicked off its annual Han Kuang series of military exercises Monday to test the joint combat readiness and defense capabilities of its armed forces in the event of an attack from China.

The five-day exercises started with a simulated attack on the country's military bases and other facilities, with the three main branches of the armed forces mounting a coordinated response.

The exercises, the most important war games in Taiwan, will also focus on anti-landing, anti-airborne and maritime drills, and drills on cyber warfare, the military said.

For the first time, civilian planes will be used in the Han Kuang exercises to help with personnel transport, carrying military officers and reservists from Kaohsiung to the offshore county of Penghu, according to a military source.

On Tuesday, Taiwan's main combat aircraft will practice emergency takeoffs and landings on a freeway in the southern county of Chiayi.

The drill is scheduled to take place on the Minxiong section of the No. 1 National Freeway, one of four sections of Taiwan's main north-south freeway designated as emergency runways in the event of war, the Air Force said.

That drill will simulate an attack from China that destroys the runways at Taiwan's Air Force bases, leaving the military to resort to the freeways for emergency takeoffs and landings.

An F-16 A/B fighter jet, a Mirage 2000-5, and an Indigenous Defensive Fighter (IDF) jet, the three models that make up Taiwan's combat aircraft fleet, will be used in the drill, the Air Force said.

Other aircraft to be included are an E-2K airborne early warning aircraft, a CH-47 helicopter, an OH-58D reconnaissance helicopter and two AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, the Air Force added.

According to the plan, the F-16A/B, the Mirage 2000, the IDF and the E-2K will land, be refueled and resupplied on the freeway and then take off again.

During the week of exercises, there will also be live-fire drills in the waters off eastern Taiwan and south of Penghu and at a base in Pingtung.

Field artillery weapons and naval guns will be used in those drills, according to a military source.

The second stage of the "Han Kuang 30" exercises, being held Sept. 15-19, follows computer-aided war games in May.

(By Elaine Hou)

●Sept. 14: Combat aircraft to perform takeoff, landing maneuvers on freeway