The armed forces of Taiwan yesterday conducted large-scale air, land and sea exercises from 5am to 8am on Monday as a response to a simulated Chinese invasion.
The drill put into practice air and anti-air components of the ‘war plan,' which the armed forces have drawn according to experience derived from past Han Kuang military exercises, an official told Taipei Times.
The aerial component of the drills was unusual in the number of aircraft and the amount of equipment involved, as six Lockheed Martin F-16s and two Dassault Mirage 2000s flew with a full load of missiles, ALQ-184 electronic attack pods and double drop tanks, the official said.
Ground crew began preparations at 4am and the fighter jets took off at 5:40am. Additionally, four indigenous craft simulated an emergency landing from Taichung’s Ching Chuan Kang Air Base to Hualien Air Base, sources said.
The navy deployed Kidd-class destroyers, and Cheng Kung and Kang Ding-class frigates in anti-air maneuvers at multiple zones, while the army fielded anti-air units to assist in the defense of air bases.
The Joint Air Exercise is a combination of routine drills that are conducted in a way that is simultaneous and coordinated according to a specific military scenario whose details are classified, the official said.
While simulated fighter interception is commonplace, the air drills that took place yesterday were much larger than previous joint air exercises, the official said.