A mid-range radar station on Kaohsiung’s Shoushan (壽山) on Thursday was opened to the media in a rare move by the government to showcase the military’s combat readiness in the buildup to the Lunar New Year holiday.
The radar station, on 356m-high Shoushan in southern Kaohsiung, is one of the most important radar stations in western Taiwan for deterring invading forces and safeguarding national security amid increased military intimidation by China, said Lieutenant Commander Wu Hou-sheng (吳厚生), head of the station.
It is tasked with monitoring the movements of enemy fighter jets or warships that come within 50 nautical miles (93km) of the southwest of Taiwan, working alongside other radar stations in the south and on outlying islands, he said.
The Shoushan station, under the command of the second squadron of the Maritime Surveillance and Reconnaissance Command, is in a strategic position between Zuoying Naval Base and the Port of Kaohisung, Wu said.
Thanks to its elevation, it is capable of precisely verifying targets that approach Taiwan, issuing early warnings if military aircraft, vessels or amphibian forces approach the median line of the Taiwan Strait, he said.
To deter airborne attacks, the station is armed with FIM-92 Singer and MIM-72 Chaparral missiles, as well as 105mm howitzers and five-inch cannons, he added.
On Wednesday, the air force staged an F-16 emergency takeoff and landing drill for the media at Chiayi Air Base.
The drill featured an F-16V, which requires only six minutes of preparation to take off in response to an emergency, the military said.
The air force is upgrading its existing fleet of 142 F-16A/Bs to the same specifications as the F-16V, also known as the F-16C/D Block 70, a process expected to be completed by 2023.
The military is in the process of procuring 66 new F-16Vs from the US.
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