Mon, Apr 09, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Air force denies reports of radar installation leak

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

The air force yesterday denied a media report that military secrets on a long-range early-warning radar system at Hsinchu Air Force Base had been leaked, despite pictures of the base under construction being posted on a military information Web site in China.

TVBS, a Taiwanese cable TV channel, yesterday reported that photographs of construction at the early-warning radar site at Leshan (樂山), Hsinchu County, were posted on a Chinese military information Web site. Those pictures showed construction of the long-range early-warning radar structure, which in the photographs appears to be about 10 stories high.

In response, the air force yesterday said the pictures in question were taken when then-deputy minister of national defense Chao Shih-chang (趙世璋) and three former lawmakers from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) — Herman Shuai (帥化民), Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) and Liao Wan-ju (廖婉汝) — visited the base on Dec. 23, 2009.

Some of the photographs were later posted on the legislature’s Web site and therefore the -media allegations of confidential information being leaked to China were false, the air force said.

The radar is being manufactured in the US and after the completion of software performance integration testing scheduled for November, the system should be fully installed by the end of the year, the air force said.

The long-range early--warning radar has a range of 3,000km. Taiwan purchased the equipment from the US to monitor ballistic and cruise missiles, and to act as a forward position for the US’ ballistic missile defense system.

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