Tue, Apr 23, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Han Kuang games to feature Chinese stealth fighters and Russian missiles

By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

President Tsai Ing-wen, right, talks with Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US commander Vincent Lawrence at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Chengdu J-20 fighter jets, Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missiles and “Weishi” long-range rocket artillery pieces are being featured in the annual Han Kuang exercise’s computer-simulated war games, which began yesterday, a source said.

The PLA has a limited number of J-20 stealth fighter jets in service, and S-400 missile systems and the “Weishi” rocket artillery, which has an effective range of 200km, have been deployed on China’s eastern seaboard, a defense official said on condition of anonymity.

Those systems pose a significant threat to the nation, so the war games have incorporated them into the order of battle, he said.

Pitting commanders against each other in attack and defense, the games help the armed forces identify the operational methods in which the weapons are employed, as well as their strengths, weaknesses and effective countermeasures, he said.

“Most important of all, the war games test the will and adaptability of the commander, as well as the ability of staff officers in devising winning strategies from adverse conditions,” he added.

The war games would simulate an amphibious landing by the enemy and the defenders would try to repel the attack according to the doctrine of force protection, and fighting a decisive battle near the shore to annihilate enemy forces at the beachhead, he said.

Each war game would last 24 hours and involve commanders and staff officers, he said.

The war games are to run through Friday, while field maneuvers are set to begin on May 27.

The Ministry of National Defense would also monitor a naval parade China is staging today in the waters off Qingdao to mark the 70th anniversary of the PLA Navy, the source said.

Separately yesterday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) reiterated that only a strong defense capacity can guarantee peace, the military’s main goal, as she met with Vincent Lawrence, commander-in-chief of the nonprofit Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US, at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

The military is the backbone of the nation and safeguards regional security, Tsai said.

As commander-in-chief, “it is my most important task to look after the military and also the veterans,” she said.

Tsai said she has paid great attention to military affairs, including initiating an indigenous submarine project and setting policies to support the defense industry.

Additional reporting by CNA

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