Wed, May 03, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Officials laud military progress

PLEASING Military officials said the results of this year's Han Kuang computerized war games showed that advances had been made in joint operation capabilities

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A military official said yesterday that the navy did well in this year's Han Kuang computer war games thanks to good air cover provided by the air force, and that the military's joint operation capabilities were making good progress.

"Three of the four Kidd Class destroyers survived large-scale Chinese missile attacks due to good protection from the air force, and the destroyers' anti-ship missiles were therefore able to repel the enemy's vessels," a Ministry of National Defense official said on condition of anonymity.

Air cover

The good air cover was attributed to better joint operation capabilities between the air force and the navy, the official added.

The annual Han Kuang computer exercise took place from April 17 to April 22.

In last year's computer exercise, two Kidd Class destroyers involved in the war games were either sunk or seriously damaged by Chinese jet fighters.

In this year's war simulation, the official said, Chinese ships suffered serious damage at the hands of the destroyers when attempting to cross the Taiwan Strait.

"[The Chinese] resorted to using merchant vessels and fishing boats to carry troops across the strait, but most of these vessels were sunk by the navy before they were able to reach Taiwan," the official said.

Former commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Command Admiral Dennis Blair, who led a US delegation to observe the computer simulations, said last week that the Taiwanese military had made some progress in its joint operation capabilities.

He also said China's military capability was insufficient to allow it to take Taiwan by force.

C4ISR capabilities

The ministry official said the military's improved joint operation capabilities were also a sign of improving command, communications, coordination, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities.

The military has been improving its C4ISR capabilities under US military instruction, the official said.

Because officials from the armed forces were able to sit together and observe the war games on a real time basis, they were able to analyse the results in detail, the official said.

According to the result of the war games, the Chinese military's own joint operation capabilities were lacking, he said.

Taiwan procured four Kidd Class destroyers from the US. Two of the ships were commissioned late last year, with the other two scheduled to be delivered later this year.

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