The tabletop phase of the Han Kuang 27 series of military exercises that concluded on Friday for the first time included P-3C marine patrol aircraft in the simulation, which performed very well in detecting Chinese submarines during an attack/defense simulation.
The war games, held from Monday last week through Friday, featured National Defense University instructors as the belligerent forces and military staff headquarters as the defenders.
Military sources said the war games incorporated the P-3C aircraft, purchased from the US, in the marine-patrol games and that in the few simulated attack and defense scenarios, the P-3C proved a strong deterrent to Chinese submarines, locating enemy submarine positions before they could launch an attack.
There nevertheless were heavy losses to the defender’s surface fleet.
Taiwan procured 12 P-3C aircraft from the US for US$1.9 billion in 2007. The first aircraft was delivered to Taiwanese units training in the US last month, with the other 11 scheduled for delivery this year and next.
The Ministry of National Defense had wanted to add anti-aircraft-carrier scenarios to the war games, but retired vice admiral Lan Ning-li (蘭寧利) said that without knowing more details about the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) plans for a carrier battle group, the inclusion of such platforms would have been insignificant.
“At most, it would serve to hone the resolve of the officers during the war games,” Lan said.
As the J-20 stealth fighter has yet to be incorporated into the PLA Air Force, it also was not included in a scenario simulating the defense of Penghu and Taiwan proper.
The scenario also ruled out the possibility of a major US intervention in the conflict.
However, the military allowed the attackers to “cheat” and modify computer data to test the other side’s ability to react to unexpected situations.
Despite the limitations, military sources said that several “creative” strategies were employed and the results were to the satisfaction of Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱).
Military officials said the war games showed continual progress, with both the belligerent and the defending forces winning some and losing some, adding that the priority was to discover where the problems were and find out better solutions.
Who ultimately won and lost does not matter, officials said.
Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer
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