Live-fire drill set for Penghu County

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - Page 3

The military will conduct a large-scale live-fire drill in Penghu County on April 17 during the annual Han Kuang military exercises, the Ministry of National Defense announced yesterday.

The indigenous multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) is to be fired in public for the first time, Major General Tseng Fu-shing (曾復興) told a press conference yesterday.

He said the drill would simulate a Chinese military attack from the air and sea in Penghu County. The military is to defend the territory and wage anti-invasion warfare.

The MLRS is to be fired from the coast against landing troops, he said.

The exercise is to involve the Republic of China army, air force and navy, and will be held over five days, Tseng added.

He said that about 10,000 rounds of ammunition would be used in the drill.

The military has excluded the use of live ammunition from the annual war games since 2008, a decision believed to be related to improved cross-strait relations.

The ministry had decided upon a live-fire drill to help quell public fears over a possible attack, Tseng added.

The military said that the Han Kuang exercises will also include computer-aided war games, which are scheduled to take place in July.

At a legislative meeting earlier in the day military officials said two main missile systems — the US-made Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) surface-to-air missile and the locally developed Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) “Brave Wind” surface-to-surface supersonic anti-ship missile — would be tested in this year’s Han Kuan exercises, but Tseng said that the two systems would not be included in the April 17 drill.

The military said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has not decided whether he will oversee the drill in Penghu.

Additional reporting by AFP