TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday (Dec. 24), marking the 15th such intrusion this month.
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft and a Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane encroached into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan scrambled fighter jets, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track both planes.
The Y-8 is a medium-sized, medium-range transport aircraft based on the Soviet Antonov An-12 and produced by the Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation. It can be operated by as few as two or as many as five crew members, depending on the variant.
The Y-8 is 34 meters in length and has 38-meter wingspan. It is outfitted with four WJ-6 turboprop engines and has a maximum speed of 660 kilometers per hour, a 10.4-km service ceiling, a ferry range of 4,800 km, and a maximum range of 5,615 km.
Over the past three months, China has been regularly entering Taiwan’s ADIZ, in most cases in the southwest corner of the zone. In December alone, Chinese planes have been spotted in the identification zone on Dec. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, and 24, according to MND data.
In November, PLAAF planes were detected intruding into the identification zone a total of 22 times; in October, Chinese military aircraft were also tracked there on 22 occasions, including a drone on Oct. 22.
Chinese Y-8 EW on Dec. 24 (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Dec. 24 (MND image)