TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday (Jan. 14), marking the 11th such intrusion this month.
A People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft and a Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, the Taiwanese military scrambled fighter jets, broadcast radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the two planes.
Since mid-September of last year, China has been regularly sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone. According to MND data, PLAAF planes were detected in the ADIZ 19 times in December, 22 times in November, and 22 times in October, including a drone on Oct. 22.
According to a 2020 report on China released by the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30 last year, Chinese military planes breached the ADIZ on 91 days. For the whole of 2020, the PLAAF flew around 380 sorties into the zone, according to MND spokesman Shih Shun-wen (史順文).
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.
Chinese Y-8 EW on Jan. 14 (MND photo)
Flight paths of Chinese planes on Jan. 14 (MND image)