TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Air Force on Monday (Sept. 6) conducted a takeoff and landing rehearsal drill ahead of the annual Han Kuang exercise.
Monday's drill began at 5 a.m. in Pingtung and involved an F-16V, Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), Mirage 2000, and an E-2K early warning aircraft, according to TTV News.
Military officials said the most anticipated drill is the highway landing exercise in Pingtung’s Jiadong Township, which will take place on Sept. 15 at 6:30 a.m. and last for about half an hour, CNA reported. One of each of Taiwan’s main types of fighter jet (IDF, Mirage 2000, and F-16V) will participate in the drill, as well as one E-2K early warning aircraft.
Han Kuang 37 will be held from Sept. 13-17 and will be a live-fire exercise. The computer simulation component of the annual wargames was held in April, while the live-fire part was originally scheduled to be conducted from July 12-16. However, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to military sources, the scale of this year’s exercise has been reduced due to COVID concerns. Nevertheless, the highway landing drill will take place as planned.
The purpose of the takeoff and landing drill is to prepare pilots for highway landings in case the Pingtung Air Base tarmac is damaged by an enemy missile strike.