The air force will start construction work on a base which will house a long-range early warning radar system next year.
The system will be bought from the US, and the air force is planning to spend around NT$1.5 billion on the base during the first year, according to the 2004 proposed defense budget.
"The base is to be built on a mountain in northern Hsinchu County, where there are already several radar sites belonging to different armed services," said a military officer who declined to be identified. "The site was chosen because of its high altitude, which will enable the long-range radar to have an adequate view," added the officer.
The long-range early warning radar would apparently have a range of 3,000km, but it has been reported that the US might not want Taiwan to see that far.
The air force declined to comment on the issue. It also refused to reveal whether it has decided what sort of long-range radar it wants to buy.
The Raytheon company's AN/EPS-123 Pave Paws early warning radar system is generally believed to be what the air force wants.
Although the air force said it has not yet decided on the system, it is possible that a decision has been made, since it is unlikely that construction would be planned for next year without a radar system in mind.
In the 2004 proposed defense budget being reviewed by the legislature, NT$1.5 billion has been allocated to construction of the long-range radar site.
The budget proposal does not specify what sort of radar the air force is to buy.
The NT$1.5 billion is the first sum of money that the air force is to spend on the building of the long-range radar system.
The US approved the sale of the early warning radar system to Taiwan in 2000, but the Ministry of National Defense has been slow in deciding to buy the system, arousing some complaints from the US, according to reports by the Chinese-language Liberty Times.
The Minister of National Defense, Tang Yao-ming (
The long-range radar would be able to detect ballistic missiles launched from China, increasing Taiwan's early warning time by around seven minutes.
Chang Li-teh (
"With the Pave Paws, the military might consider developing anti-satellite weapons. Such weapons do not need to be bought from abroad. Certain domestically built weapons being used by the military have the potential to be turned into satellite killers," Chang said.
But Chang was only making a suggestion, since there is no information to show that the military considers developing anti-satellite weapons.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
CHANGING IT UP: With Bopomofo rarely used outside of Taiwan, the lawmaker said that Romanization would help the government in its internationalization efforts Tainan City Councilor Lee Chi-wei (李啟維) yesterday called for the use of Romanized spellings to make Taiwanese dialects and languages internationally recognizable. Speaking at a news conference in Tainan to mark International Mother Language Day, Lee said the use of zhuyin fuhao (注音符號, Mandarin phonetic symbols commonly known as Bopomofo) made it difficult to promote interest in, or recognition of, the nation’s dialects and languages, as the system is not commonly used outside of Taiwan. “The legislature has already passed the Development of National Languages Act (國家語言發展法), but under the current circumstances that act is like a candle in the wind,” he
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
‘DECADES OF WORK’: Children born this year could see a human mission to the Red Planet during their lifetime, Yen Cheng said, adding that the only obstacle is money When NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on the surface of Mars on Thursday after a seven-month journey, a Taiwan-born engineer was preparing to guide its first movements on the Red Planet. Yen Cheng (嚴正), a 61-year-old graduate of National Tsing Hua University and a 20-year veteran at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is taking part in his fourth Mars exploration mission with the agency’s Robot Interfaces and Visualization team, this time as its leader. Yen in a media interview described his expectations for the next few months as “living on Earth in Mars time.” As nighttime temperatures on Mars can drop