The armed forces yesterday held a missile exercise in the south, substantially increasing the hit ratio from a similar drill in January last year with a 96 percent success rate.
In all, 26 missiles were fired from 12 platforms in the Joint Live Fire Exercise of the Armed Forces at the Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) missile test base in Jioupeng (九鵬), Pingtung County. Three services — the army, air force and navy — participated, with more than 2,300 soldiers mobilized for the exercise.
Things got off to a rather dispiriting start when the first two items on the agenda, the CSIST-developed Tien Kung II (TK-2) surface-to-air missile and a US-made ship-launched Standard Missile I (SM-1) surface-to-air missile, were canceled seconds before they were to be fired. Just over 15 minutes after successful intercepts by ground-launched Hawk and air-launched Tien Chien II (TC-2) and MICA missiles, a Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) anti-ship missile launch from a Lafayette-class frigate had to be canceled after a fishing vessel reportedly ventured into the naval exclusion zone.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
Minutes later, a short-range HF-1, launched off a Jin Chiang-class missile corvette, hit its target, a decommissioned transport ship located 9 nautical miles (16.6km) into the Taiwan Strait.
From then on, the rest of the exercise went smoothly, with F-16-launched AGM-65 “Maverick” and AIM-9 “Sidewinder” missiles, and a “Ching Kuo” Indigenous Defense Force-launched TC-1, all hitting their targets in mid-flight. A ground-to-air version of the TC-1 also intercepted its target, while two AIM-9s launched by AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters hit their objectives.
Journalists cheered when the military announced that the HF-2 and SM-1 launches would now proceed, as the fishing vessel had cleared the area. While the SM-1, launched off a Perry-class vessel, intercepted its target, the HF-2 failed to hit home, missing another decommissioned transport ship 33 nautical miles at sea — the only miss that day.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times
During a press conference following the exercise, Ministry of National Defense officials said they were “quite satisfied” with the results, which enjoyed a 96 percent hit ratio.
A malfunction during the launch of two UK-made Banshee drones accounted for the aborted launch of the TK-2, officials said.
Turning to the presence of a fishing vessel, the military said 19 navy ships had been out at sea to secure the area, adding that one ship was sent out to force the intruders away from the area. The ministry confirmed the fishing vessel was foreign, but did not give their country of origin.
However, an official said that if Chinese ships had been present — during exercises in the past, China sometimes relied on fishing vessels to gather intelligence — some types of missiles would not have been launched.
The US-made AIM-7 “Sparrow,” which malfunctioned and dropped into the sea immediately after being launched during last year’s exercise, was excluded this year. The ministry said the US was still investigating the cause of last year’s failure and added that the decision not to include it had also been made for safety considerations, given the advanced age of the missile.
A ship-launched CK-3 Banshee drone also experienced technical failure and fell in Pingtung City, blowing a small crater in a road, officials said.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who had expressed dissatisfaction after attending last year’s exercise, which scored a 68.4 percent hit rate with six misses from 19 missiles launched, was not present yesterday.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts