Mon, May 12, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Live-fire exercise pushed forward because of SARS

By Brian Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The live-fire demonstration portion of the Hankuang No. 19 exercise kicks off tomorrow in Ilan, eight days ahead of schedule, defense sources said yesterday.

The demonstration will be smaller than planned, however, with several missile tests deleted from the drill.

The exercise had been scheduled for May 21, but it was pushed up because of concerns over the spread of the SARS.

The military has spent several months making preparations for the live-fire demonstration along the Ilan coastline. To mark the end of the preparatory work, the military held rehearsals over three consecutive days last week.

The rehearsals highlighted two types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), firing missiles against surface targets by armed helicopters, target shooting by warships and anti-submarine operations.

One of the UAVs developed mechanical problems during the process but was expected to be repaired before the actual live-fire demonstrations begin.

A large-scale anti-terror operation that was initially scheduled to be held in the middle of this month in Yunlin County also has been postponed.

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