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DEFENSE/Taiwan's Air Force conducts large-scale joint air defense drills

06/20/2024 08:01 PM
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An F-16 fighter takes off during a similar Air Force exercise in the early hours of March 24, 2020. File photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense
An F-16 fighter takes off during a similar Air Force exercise in the early hours of March 24, 2020. File photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) Taiwan's Air Force in the early hours of Thursday conducted air defense exercises in multiple zones aimed at preparing the armed forces for possible attacks from China on critical military infrastructure and bases, according to a military source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The drills, held from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. to avoid disrupting civilian air traffic, were part of the Air Force's quarterly joint air defense exercises and saw the participation of Taiwan's flagship fighter jets: the Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF), Mirage 2000-5 fighters and F-16Vs, the source said.

In one of the zones where the drills were conducted, Republic of China (Taiwan) aircraft playing the role of People's Liberation Army military aircraft flew around Taipei to test the responses of the armed forces, the source said.

Other aircraft deployed included C-130H military transport aircraft, as well as AH-64E Apache attack helicopters under the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command.

Meanwhile, various types of aircraft under the Air Force's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tactical fighter wings, as well as its 5th and 6th composite wings also took part in the exercises, according to the Air Force.

In addition, Tien Kung air defense missiles, Patriot missiles, and anti-aircraft cannons were also deployed in the drills, the Air Force said.

Thursday's drills tested the functions of military and civil air defense systems and joint combat command mechanisms, and involved the military's air defense weapons systems and intelligence and electronic warfare units, according to military sources.

The Air Force said that it will continue to hold realistic training programs in response to potential threats posed by changes in the multilayered battlefields of modern warfare.

(By Matt Yu and Sean Lin)

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