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Air Force denies reports of PLA missile lock-on

Air Force denies reports of PLA missile lock-on

Taipei, April 27 (CNA) The The Air Force Command Headquarters rejected Monday as false and unfounded media reports suggesting that one of the Air Force's F-CK-1 (?????) jet fighters had been locked on by the People's Liberation Army's missile defense system during a routine patrol last year. According to the media reports, the CK-1 jet fighter flying out of Tainan's 443rd Tactical Fighter Wing was locked on by China's S-300 surface-to-air missile battery in Longtian, Fujian Province, sometime last year, and that in response, the pilot immediately performed a tactical retreat to safety. The squadron of CK-1 jet fighters was performing a routine patrol on the eastern portion of the median line of the Taiwan Strait, according to reports. The Air Force Command Headquarters said in a statement that during sorties, all of Taiwan's air elements are required to abide by the doctrine of refraining from fleeing, taunting, or showing a weakened stance towards aggressors, and firmly rejected the reports of the missile lock as false. Reports also suggest that the PLA initiated the missile lock to gather combat data on the CK-1s' latest round of systems upgrades that were completed toward the end of 2013. In the reports, a retired Air Force pilot was quoted as saying that neither Taiwan nor China revealed their trump cards during the rumored exchange and that the combat data collected would have been negligible. During peacetime, many vital electronic warfare systems would have been deactivated by both the attacker and defender in the scenario, the pilot explained. Meanwhile, the PLA is expected to acquire another batch of Russian-built S-400 surface-to-air missiles rated with a longer effective range than the older S-300. With an effective range of about 400 km, the S-400 missile has drawn praise from Chinese media, which has dubbed it the "AWACS (airborne early warning and control system) killer." Military experts said that Taiwan's E-2T/K AWACS aircraft could be threatened by the missile, as their patrol routes take them within the S-400's range. The Air Force said it is aware of China's weapons procurements and that contingency plans have been prepared. (By Lu Hsin-huei and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-22 19:24 GMT+08:00