The military plans to test-fire its newest anti-missile system for the first time in the US next month, a Ministry of National Defense source and media reports said yesterday.
The test of the US-made Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system is to be held at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, early next month, the ministry source said.
The source said the test would be conducted in the US to avoid China collecting information about it and due to airspace restrictions in Taiwan.
The American Institute in Taiwan would not comment on the test, which was also reported in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper).
The missile system was purchased in 2008 and the test was approved by the US last year, the Liberty Times said.
The government bought three earlier model PAC-2 systems in the 1990s and also tested them in the US. They were deployed in the greater Taipei area.
It then bought the new PAC-3 as part of a US$6.5 billion arms sale by the US in 2008. The system, which shields Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, is already partly operational, the ministry said.
Next month’s drill will is to see two missiles fired to intercept a missile launched by the US military simulating a Chinese missile, the Liberty Times said.
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