TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military plane entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday (Dec. 29), marking the 19th intrusion this month.
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) plane was tracked flying into the southwest corner of the 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 monitor the Chinese plane.
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 a 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.
The anti-submarine warfare variant of the Y-8 includes an air-to-surface radar located in a fairing at the chin position, a side-looking Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), and a Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) tube protruding from the aft-end of the fuselage. Inline antenna protrusions for various sensors are also located along the dorsal and ventral fuselage spines.
In addition to ASW missions, the Chinese military plane can also monitor and patrol strategic waters and carry out target acquisition.
For the past three and a half months, China has been regularly entering Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone. In December, Chinese planes have been spotted in Taiwan’s identification zone on Dec. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, and 29.
In November, PLAAF planes were detected intruding into Taiwan’s identification zone 22 times; in October, Chinese military aircraft were also tracked in the ADIZ on 22 occasions, including a drone on Oct. 22.
Flight path of Chinese Y-8 on Dec. 29 (MND image)