Sun, Mar 26, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Simulated hunt of Chinese submarine successful: official

By Lo Tien-pin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A recent live-fire exercise in which a Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft engaged a simulated Chinese submarine achieved “extremely satisfactory” results, forcing the the submarine to retreat or surface, a high-level Ministry of National Defense official said.

With the delivery of a 12th P-3C from the US in July, the air force’s anti-submarine task force would be battle-ready, said the official, who requested anonymity, adding that the drill demonstrated the weapons platform’s capabilities.

The results refute rumors that the aircraft would be an insufficient anti-submarine deterrent to China because of a lack of attack capabilities, the official said, adding that the P-3C is capable of launching Mark 46 anti-submarine torpedoes, AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles and depth charges.

In the drill, the P-3C detected the simulated activity of a Chinese submarine and launched torpedoes and depth charges at it, resulting in the submarine diving or being forced to the surface, the official said.

The P-3C fleet aims to address the threat posed to Taiwan by Chinese submarines, the official said, adding that it will help to maintain uninterrupted access to the nation’s main ports in case of war.

In conjunction with the navy and air force’s aerial assets, the P-3C fleet is expected to help provide a satisfactory bulwark against surface and submarine incursions by Chinese forces, the official said.

The P-3C fleet’s main duty is to patrol and monitor surface and submarine activity in key areas or in the nation’s territorial waters, the official said.

The aircraft and associated equipment and services, worth US$1.96 billion, are part of an arms deal valued at US$2.23 billion announced by the US in 2007.

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