Thu, Aug 24, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Military to hold live-fire drills next month: official

By Lo Tien-ping and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The army is to hold live-fire exercises from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21 to bolster the readiness of helicopter gunships, multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) and guided anti-tank missile teams, a Ministry of National Defense official said on Tuesday.

The first of the planned exercises, named Shen Ying, is to involve five AH-64E Apache, nine Bell AH-1W Super Cobra and six Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters opposing a simulated Chinese naval attack on Taiwan from the southeast.

While the Apaches had participated in the Han Kuang military exercises in May, next month’s drills are to emphasize tactical and technical proficiency, the official said.

A total of 56 AGM-114 Hellfire and eight AIM-92 Stinger missiles, as well as 180 infrared flares, have been allocated for use during the exercise, the official added.

After the Shen Ying exercise, 11 Thunderbolt-2000 wheeled MLRS vehicles are to conduct a live-fire drill, named Lei Ting, at the Jioupeng Bay (九鵬灣) missile test range in Pingtung County, the official said.

The drill is to test all of the weapon system’s three types of ammunition — Mk15, Mk30 and Mk45 rockets, equipped with different engines and submunitions, which have maximum effective ranges from 7km to 45km, the official said, adding that 180 Mk15, 81 Mk30 and 36 Mk45 rockets are to be fired to test their performance.

In the final exercise, named Tien Ma, guided anti-tank missile teams are to practice firing BGM-71 missiles, the official said, adding that they would expend 69 projectiles.

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