Tue, May 21, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Clouded Leopard armored vehicles to join exercises

Staff writer, with CNA

A wide range of military equipment, weapons and vehicles — including indigenous Clouded Leopard armored vehicles, as well US-made F-16V jets and two Perry-class guided missile frigates — are to take part in the live-fire part of this year’s Han Kuang military exercises, a Ministry of National Defense official said on condition of anonymity.

The exercises, the nation’s biggest annual military drill, are divided into two parts: computer-simulated war games, which were held from April 22 to 26, and nationwide live-fire drills, which are to be staged from Monday to Friday next week.

The live-fire drills bring together the army, navy and air force to test their ability to launch a coordinated response to simulated air and sea assaults by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

The first F-16V jet modified by Aerospace Industrial Development Corp is to participate in an exercise in Changhua County’s Huatan Township (花壇) on Tuesday next week.

The exercise is to involve emergency landing and takeoff drills on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1).

The Clouded Leopard eight-wheeled armored vehicle, equipped with Orbital ATK 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster II cannons, and the two frigates — the Ming Chuan and the Feng Chia, which were commissioned in Kaohsiung in November last year — are to join the drills.

Tuesday’s drills as well as Thursday’s exercises on a Pingtung County firing range are to be covered by the media.

The navy yesterday launched training exercises in the East China Sea, which are to run through today.

The training covers port security, emergency procedures and air control operations, as well as joint warfare training with the army that includes anti-aircraft and anti-submarine drills.

The air force is spending NT$129.6 billion (US$4.13 billion) to convert 144 F-16A/B jets into the F-16V variant under the Phoenix Rising project.

The amount allocated from this year’s budget is about NT$9.17 billion, with the project slated to be completed by 2023.

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