TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The military has chosen Linkou in New Taipei City as the location for its final Patriot missile base, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported Saturday.
The original plan had designed nine bases for the United States-made interceptor missiles spread over the north, center and south of the country.
Near the capital, the military had chosen the Taipei City district of Nangang and the New Taipei City districts of Wanli and Xindian to station the missiles, but according to the latest thinking, the north coast area of Wanli would be abandoned in favor of Linkou, reports said.
Taiwan spent NT$179.1 billion (US$5.64 billion) on purchasing six Patriot PAC-3 sets of missiles and on upgrading its existing three Patriot PAC-2 projectiles to the same level as the PAC-3, according to the United Daily News.
Experts from the U.S. and local simulations showed that the missile battery in Wanli would be less effective in countering missiles fired from China, the paper reported. A new base on the border between Linkou and the Taoyuan City district of Guishan would be a better location for the weapons systems, reports said, adding that those missiles could also protect Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
When work on the bases will be completed in 2024, Taiwan will be fully able to intercept ballistic missiles with a range of 1,300 kilometers, reports said.
The Wanli base would not be closed but be chosen to station locally made Tien Kung 3 anti-air missiles approaching the capital, as the area was left as a gap in Taipei’s air defense net, reports said.
Other Patriot missile bases are situated in the cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan, in Pingtung County, in Taichung, at the Qingchuangang Air Force Base also in Taichung, and at the Shuishang Air Force Base in Chiayi County, reports said.