TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's military will soon test-fire Patriot III missiles at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Liberty Times reported on Saturday (July 24).
Military officials said that a target drone will first be launched to simulate a Chinese medium-range missile, before Taiwan fires off two Patriot III missiles to intercept it. If either one of them is not able to hit the target, another missile will immediately be launched.
A live-fire verification test of Taiwan’s Patriot missiles is carried out every two years, officials said, and it can only be performed in the U.S., due to security concerns. Therefore, the East Asian nation always sends a team to White Sands to carry out the drill.
Officials said that in addition to a missile operating team of 40, a task force will also be sent to New Mexico to conduct on-site inspections. Taiwan has spent NT$179.14 billion (US$6.38 billion) to purchase six Patriot III missile systems and upgrade three existing Patriot II systems to the current variant.
Taiwan and Japan are the only countries that conduct missile tests in the U.S., according to Liberty Times.