Three US-made Patriot anti-missile air defense batteries will be deployed in southern Taiwan, in addition to the one already in northern Taiwan, Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) said.
Yang made the remarks in response to lawmakers’ questions in the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee on Thursday, saying that the three Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile batteries will be used to boost the country’s defenses.
The PAC-3 missile batteries, part of a US$6.4 billion arms package supplied by the US in recent years, will be deployed in southern Taiwan, he said.
Meanwhile, Air Force Command Chief of Staff Ting Chung-wu (丁忠武) said that none of Taiwan’s 145 F-16A/Bs have yet been upgraded under a US$3.8 billion program to retrofit the country’s aging fighter fleet.
On the issue of Taiwan’s recent military exercises, Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Hsu Pei-shan (許培山) said the defense ministry has identified five navy officers who will be held responsible for a glitch in the Han Kuang live drills in the offshore county of Penghu.
The incident occurred when the 76mm gun on a Ching Chiang-class patrol vessel failed just before it was scheduled to begin firing during an anti-landing drill in Penghu on April 17. The ministry said the problem was recorded on the same vessel two days prior to the exercise, so personnel should be held responsible for the failure.