New weapon sys­tems to join Han Kuang ex­er­cises

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

Newly ac­quired and lo­cally de­vel­oped weapon sys­tems will be join­ing this year’s live-fire drill as part of the an­nual Han Kuang se­ries of mil­i­tary ex­er­cises, the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense (MND) an­nounced yesterday.

Speak­ing dur­ing a news brief­ing, Maj. Gen. Zhong Shu-ming ( ), di­rec­tor of the MND’s Joint Op­er­a­tion Di­vi­sion, said new weapons sys­tems to be de­ployed in the live-fire drills of the “Han Kuang No. 31” ex­er­cises this Septem­ber in­clude the P-3C sub-hunt­ing air­craft that Tai­wan pre­vi­ously bought from the U.S.

Dur­ing the drills to be held from Sept. 7 to 11, lo­cally de­vel­oped weapons sys­tems in­clude the Tuo Jiang ( ) and the Pan Shih ( ) mil­i­tary ves­sels will also be join­ing Zhong said.

The Tuo Jiang is the coun­try’s first lo­cally de­signed stealth mis­sile corvette while the Pan Shih is a lo­cally de­vel­oped sup­ply ves­sel.

To test the armed forces’ de­fense ca­pa­bil­ity to fight off sim­u­lated in­va­sions by main­land Chi­nese forces, Zhong said five­day-ex­er­cise will be staged at the is­land’s nearby seas, north­ern

the

ex­er­cises, Hs­inchu drill ground and south­ern Ping­tung drill ground, sep­a­rately.

As be­fore, Zhong said the min­istry has in­vited Pres­i­dent Ma Ying­jeou to pre­side over the Septem­ber drill. This will mark the last time Ma will pre­side over such an an­nual drill dur­ing his ten­ure as he is sched­uled to leave of­fice next May.

The Han Kuang se­ries of mil­i­tary ex­er­cises — Tai­wan’s most im­por­tant an­nual war games in­volv­ing all branches of the mil­i­tary — is staged an­nu­ally in two stages, with the com­puter-aided war games al­ready held in May and the live-fire drill to be staged next month.

It is the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year that the two-part drills are to be held in May and Septem­ber.

Be­fore 2014, the Han Kuang mil­i­tary drills were also held in two stages, but with live-fire mil­i­tary drills nor­mally held in April and com­puter-aided war games set for July.

How­ever, the MND has resched­uled the two stages of the an­nual se­ries of ex­er­cises since last year with the com­puter-aided war games to be held in May with the live-fire drill moved back to Septem­ber.

The MND pre­vi­ously ex­plained that the de­ci­sion was made to avoid the na­tion’s flood sea­son that be­gins in May and runs un­til Oc­to­ber ev­ery year.

Dur­ing the­ses months, nat­u­ral dis­as­ters such as typhoons and floods of­ten hit the coun­try. The R.O.C. Armed Forces have to stay pre­pared be­cause they are of­ten mo­bi­lized to carry out dis­as­ter preven­tion and post-dis­as­ter re­lief mis­sions, the MND said.

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