TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday night (Feb. 8), marking the seventh such intrusion this month.
Two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, the Taiwanese military scrambled jet fighters, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the planes.
So far this month, PLAAF aircraft have been spotted in Taiwan’s identification zone on Feb. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has been sending planes into the ADIZ on a regular basis, with most sorties occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three planes.
Chinese planes were detected on a total of 27 days in January, while last year they were observed 19 times in December, 22 times in November, and 22 times in October, including a drone on Oct. 22.
The Shenyang J-16 is a tandem-seat, twinjet, multirole strike fighter based on the Russian Sukhoi-30 and built by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. It is armed with a 30 mm cannon and can be outfitted with air-to-air missiles, rockets, satellite-guided bombs, and anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles.
Flight path of Chinese planes on Feb. 8 (MND image)