Nineteen Chinese military aircraft, including fighter jets, yesterday flew into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the fourth time this month, the Ministry of National Defense said.
The intruding People’s Liberation Army (PLA) planes were 10 J-16 multirole fighters, four H-6 bombers, four SU-30 fighters and one Y-8 marine patrol aircraft, a report released by the ministry said.
All of the aircraft were spotted southwest of Taiwan, between Taiwan and the Taiwanese-held Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島), a chart in the report showed.
While not considered territorial airspace, it is part of Taiwan’s ADIZ, an area declared by a country to allow it to identify, locate and control approaching foreign aircraft.
The air force responded by scrambling aircraft to monitor the Chinese planes, issuing radio warnings and mobilizing air defense assets, the ministry said.
Since the ministry started publishing incursions of Chinese aircraft on Sept. 17 last year, the highest number to enter Taiwan’s ADIZ was 28 planes on June 15, two days after the G7 highlighted the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
TANK TRAINING AREAS
Next year, the armed forces plan to construct two tank training facilities in Hsinchu County, as the US is to deliver 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks from 2024 to 2026, the ministry’s budget plan shows.
The army has about 1,000 tanks, including the CM-11 Brave Tiger and M60A3 tanks, which have been in use for more than 20 years.
The military has allocated a budget of NT$40.5 billion (US$1.46 billion) from 2019 to 2027 to purchase the 108 tanks, which are expected to be assigned to the Sixth Army Corps in northern Taiwan.
Thirty-eight of the tanks are to be delivered in 2024, 42 in 2025 and 28 in 2026.
According to the budget proposal, which has been submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review, NT$4.39 billion is to be allocated for the production of military equipment and the construction of facilities related to operating the new tanks.
The army proposed a budget of NT$450.79 million to build training facilities at the army base in Hsinchu’s Hukou Township (湖口) and NT$1.19 billion at the base in Sinfeng Township (新豐).
Construction of the planned tank driving courses and firing ranges is to begin next year, the budget proposal said.
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