TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Sunday evening (Jan. 23) reported the intrusion of 39 Chinese military aircraft into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), matching the record for the second-largest incursion in one day.
At 10:45 p.m. Sunday, the MND reported that 39 People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft had infringed on Taiwan's ADIZ. The aircraft included 24 Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, 10 Chengdu J-10 fighters, one Xi'an H-6 bomber, two Shaanxi Y-9 electronic warfare aircraft (Y-9 EW), and two Shaanxi Y-8 electronic intelligence spotter planes (Y-8 ELINT).
The 10 J-10s, J-16s, and H-6 flew right off the southwestern edge of the median line. The two Y-9 EWs, J-16s, and 2 Y-8 ELINTs flew in the southwest corner of ADIZ, just to the northeast of the Dongsha Islands.
Map of incursions by PLAAF aircraft on Jan. 23. (MND image)
The MND said that it responded by scrambling combat patrol aircraft, issuing radio warnings, and deploying air defense missile systems.
There were also 39 PLAAF military aircraft detected in the ADIZ on Oct. 2, 2021, the second-highest number recorded on one day. The all-time record for the most Chinese military aircraft seen in the zone in a single day was 56 on Oct. 4 of 2021.
On Saturday (Jan. 22), the U.S. Pacific Fleet announced on its Facebook page that five flattops from the U.S. and Japan had conducted a training exercise in the Philippine Sea that day. The major ships present included the USS Carl Vinson, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS America, and USS Essex, as well as the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer the JS Hyuga.