Thu, Mar 02, 2017 - Page 1 News List

PAC-3 missiles deployed to east coast

PREPARED:The military is to incorporate virtual and augmented-reality training into its program, while steps have been taken to improve digital warfare capability

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

A Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missile system is displayed at an unnamed military base in northern Taiwan during the Han Kuang No. 31 military exercise on June 11, 2015.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

The Ministry of National Defense said Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile batteries have been deployed on the east coast in response to an increased Chinese military presence in the area.

To improve integrated air defense capabilities, the ministry has deployed missiles to Hualien and Taitung counties, and merged the Air Defense Missile Command with the air force to streamline the chain of command, a ministry report submitted to the Legislative Yuan said.

The reorganization and relocation was ordered after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted several long-distance naval and aviation training missions — featuring an aircraft carrier and fleets of nuclear-capable bombers — in the East China Sea, South China Sea, East Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean to demonstrate its long-range power projection capabilities and Beijing’s ambition to dominate the Asia-Pacific region.

Annual military exercises would test the effectiveness of the deployments, the ministry said.

It is the first time the ministry has confirmed the deployments, after speculation emerged following the publication of photographs last month showing missiles in the military’s air defense bases in eastern Taiwan.

The report also announced a doctrinal shift from “effective deterrence” to “multiple deterrence.”

The ministry said that it would develop the defense industry to ensure self-sufficiency and national security.

A quadrennial defense review, along with three defense plans that are expected to be the guidelines for the nation’s military buildup, are to be submitted to the Legislative Yuan by March 19.

The military is to conduct new exercises, including integrated air-and-sea training, rescue missions, fishing boat escort missions and supply missions in response to the PLA’s actions.

In addition to field exercises, computer-aided simulations are to be part of regular armed forces exercises.

A tactical engagement simulation system has been built for the army, and the ministry is exploring creating new simulation systems using virtual and augmented-reality technologies.

Measures have been taken to improve the military’s digital warfare capabilities this year, with Academia Sinica and the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology forming partnerships with the military, the ministry added.

The Air Defense Missile Command was yesterday merged with the air force at a handover ceremony at the command’s Taishan District (泰山) headquarters in New Taipei City.

The command, to be headed by Colonel Yu Jen-ming (游仁明), is expected to merge with the Air Defense Artillery Command to improve operational efficiency.

“The missile command is a high-tech, combat-ready unit and it is one of the most important components of the integrated air defense system,” Air Force Commander General Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) said.

The merger would see the transfer of PAC-3, Tien Kung anti-ballistic missiles and Hawk anti-aircraft missiles, as well as tactical counterstrike missiles and Hsiung Feng 2E cruise missiles, to the air force.

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