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Historic S-2T aircraft to be shown after being retired

Historic S-2T aircraft to be shown after being retired

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) A S-2T anti-submarine aircraft that had played a significant role in the defense of Taiwan against China has been decommissioned from service, but will be exhibited at a new facility at the Air Force Academy later this year, as part of defense education. The S-2T was flown from the Air Force's base in Pingtung to the Air Force Academy in neighboring Kaohsiung City earlier this week, which was its last flight mission and has since been decommissioned, the Air Force said. The aircraft will be "stationed" there and be part of the exhibits at the academy's new aviation education hall scheduled to open in August, the academy said. The engines will remain on the aircraft, which will be kept in good condition to make it airworthy to participate in important occasions in the future, the Air Force told CNA. The S-2T was delivered to Taiwan in 1985 and had participated in many important war games and military drills since then, the academy said. The most noteworthy incident was when it identified a submarine from China, which was collecting intelligence on Taiwan as close as just 12.5 nautical miles off the coast of southern city of Tainan. It occurred during Taiwan's Han Kuang series of military exercises in 1994, the academy said. Along with other ships from the Navy, the aircraft was later deployed to conduct an anti-submarine operation to expel the Chinese submarine, it added. The annual Han Kuang exercises are Taiwan's most important war games. The S-2T was among the fleet of 11 S-2Ts being decommissioned, Taiwan's Air Force said. The decommissioning of the S-2Ts is set to be completed in 2017 and the S-2Ts will be replaced by the 12 P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft Taiwan is taking delivery of from the United States, it added. Taiwan has taken delivery of eight P-3Cs in a package deal of 12 aircraft. The four others will be delivered by the end of this year, the Air Force said. After the delivery is completed, the Air Force said, the P-3Cs will be formally put into service in early 2017. The P-3C is said to be the most capable of Lockheed's P-3 submarine-detecting aircraft. The U.S. government approved the sale of the 12 P-3Cs with T-56 turboprop engines and related equipment and services in 2007 and estimated the price of the package at US$1.96 billion.
(By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-26 04:57 GMT+08:00