Tue, Apr 23, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Navy official not replaced after drill glitch: ministry

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday rebutted a report that a navy commander would be replaced because of glitches in last week’s Han Kuang live-fire exercise in Penghu County last week.

There is no change in the position of Commander Admiral Tung Hsiang-lung (董翔龍), and “the report is untrue,” the ministry said in a statement.

A task force has completed an investigation into an incident in which the 76mm gun on a Ching Chiang-class patrol vessel failed just before it was scheduled to begin firing during the anti-landing drill in Penghu on Wednesday, the statement said.

The ministry is now identifying those who should be held responsible for the glitch, which was caused by a problematic sensor in the gun that caused the fuses to blow, the ministry said.

Another problem occurred during the drill, part of the annual Han Kuang series of military exercises, when a 76mm gun on a Cheng Kung-class frigate stopped firing because the weapon’s angle of elevation exceeded the safety limit, the ministry said.

The navy deployed one Cheng Kung-class frigate and two Ching Chiang-class vessels in the drill, which simulated an attack by China.

The first series of Han Kuang exercises — the nation’s most important war games that involve the army, the air force and the navy — was held from April 15 through Friday.

A second round of military drills, scheduled for July, will consist of computer-aided war games, the ministry said.

Taiwan and China were intense rivals during the Cold War, but relations have thawed over time and ties have grown closer since 2008, when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) came to office.

However, the president has warned of China’s military buildup and said Taiwan needed to maintain a strong defense posture.

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