Wed, Apr 27, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Kidd-class destroyers do well in war games: MND

COST-BENEFIT It would take dozens of Chinese jets to sink a Kidd Class destroyer, according to the results of a computer simulation carried out by the defense ministry

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Rear Admiral Lee Hao, director of the Ministry of National Defense's Joint Warfare Exercise Center, explains the results of a computer simulation ahead of the annual Han Kuang military exercise during a press conference yesterday morning.

PHOTO: CHIEN JUNG-FENG, TAIPEI TIMES

The nation's Kidd-class destroyers can be sunk by the Chinese air force, the Ministry of National Defense said while officials made public the result of a computerized simulation of the annual Han Kuang military exercise during a press conference yesterday morning.

"According to the simulation, at least one of our Kidd Class destroyers will be sunk by the Chinese air force's SU-30 jet fighters," said Rear Adimral Lee Hao (李皓), the director of the ministry's Joint Warfare Exercise Center.

The simulation was designed to predict the outcome of a military confrontation between China and Taiwan in a sea battle in the Taiwan Strait.

Two Kidd Class destroyers were involved in the simulated battle.

Lee said that in the simulation, the destroyers made a good contribution, as the two vessels successfully attracted most of the enemy fire. The ships were also able to destroy 19 of the short-range ballistic missiles China had deployed on its southeastern coast.

During an attack from 40 Chinese jet fighters, the destroyer shot down 16 of them but eventually was struck by a rocket fired by an SU-30 and sank.

"The ship helped us frustrate 40 percent of the enemy's invading force before it could reach Taiwan's shores," Lee said. "For us, that is the main purpose for our Kidd Class destroyers."

In the meantime, the same result also showed that the Chinese military will need more than two weeks to prepare for a campaign at sea. As a result, the ministry also announced that the country's current force would be able to defend Taiwan for more than two weeks if a war between Taiwan and China breaks out.

In addition to the computer simulation, the ministry also announced that the annual Han Kuang military exercise will be held sometime between June and August, which will help gauge the accuracy of the simulation.

In 2001, the military asked the US to sell it four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers equipped with AEGIS defense systems, which are designed to detect and attack dozens of aircraft and ships simultaneously. However, the US only agreed to sell Taiwan four older Kidd-class destroyers. The first Kidd-class destroyer will arrive in Taiwan by the end of the year.

The four Kidd-class destroyers, which were originally built for the Shah of Iran, employed the most technologically advanced radars and anti-aircraft missile launchers in the world, and are among the most powerful anti-air and all purpose destroyers.

The US navy stopped using all Kidd-class destroyers in 1981, after the Shah's government collapsed amid the Iranian revolution. For this reason, they are often referred to as the "Ayatollah-class."

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