TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on Sunday (Jan. 17), marking the 14th such intrusion this month.
According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), a single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ. In response, the Taiwanese military scrambled fighter jets, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the Chinese aircraft.
This month, Chinese military planes have been spotted in Taiwan’s identification zone on Jan. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Since mid-September of last year, China has been regularly sending between one to three planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone.
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.
Flight path of Chinese Y-8 on Jan. 17 (MND image)