A total of 18 Chinese military planes entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) yesterday, the Ministry of National Defense said, quoted by taiwannews.
Among them were six J-11 fighter jets, six J-16 fighters, two Xi’an H-6 bombers, two KJ-500 early warning and control aircraft, one Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and one for electronic warfare Shaanxi Y-8.
The Y-8 ASW and the two H-6 bombers flew over the southwest and southeast corners of Taiwan’s ADIZ, while the other plane entered from the southwest, where most of the incursions have been recorded since the military began publishing them in September 2020.
Taiwan’s air force has sent planes, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track Chinese planes.
The largest number of incursions in one day in 2022 so far was registered on January 23, when the military spotted 39 planes of the Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army (PLAAF).
Taiwan has refused to buy new helicopters from the United States – they are too expensive
Taiwan has abandoned plans to buy new modern anti-submarine helicopters from the United States, arguing that they are too expensive, Reuters reported.
Earlier, Taiwan had announced plans to acquire 12 MH-60Ar helicopters manufactured by the US company Sikorsky. However, Taiwanese media reported that the United States refused the deal because it did not meet the needs of the island.
Asked in the Taiwanese parliament about recent changes in the policy of acquiring new weapons from the United States, Defense Minister Khao Kuanchi first cited the case of helicopters.
“Their price is too high, beyond the capabilities of our country,” he explained.
Two other purchases of weapons were also postponed – M109A6 self-propelled howitzers and Stinger mobile anti-aircraft missiles.
Stinger missiles, manufactured by the American company Rating Technologies, are in great demand in Ukraine, where they are used against Russian aircraft. However, supplies from the United States have declined and there are significant obstacles to the production of more such weapons, Reuters notes.
Taiwan has already signed a contract with Stinger and paid for them, Taiwan’s defense minister said. He will urge the United States to supply the missiles.
“We do not see arms sales as a trivial matter and we have contingency plans,” Cao added, without elaborating.
Taiwan says the United States has offered its alternatives to the M109A6 self-propelled howitzers, including truck-mounted missile launchers manufactured by Lockheed Martin.
Authorities in Taipei are still considering options on the issue, Cao said today.
Taiwan, which China claims to be its territory, is pursuing a military modernization program to improve its defense and increase its ability to repel a possible Chinese attack, including with precision weapons such as missiles, Reuters reported.
President Tsai Yingwen advocates the concept of “asymmetric warfare,” which involves the development of high-tech, easily portable weapons that are difficult to destroy and can be used for precision attacks.
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