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Southeast Taiwan Air Force base steps up air defense drills

Air Force uses Skyguard system in simulation to counter enemy aircraft, missile attacks

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The Air Force is holding air defense drills at its Zhihang base in Taitung County Wednesday. 

The Air Force is holding air defense drills at its Zhihang base in Taitung County Wednesday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chihang Air Force Base in Taitung County stepped up air defense drills ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, reports said Wednesday (Jan. 19).

The base near Taiwan’s southeast coast will house the 66 F-16V fighter jets the country is expected to receive from the United States by the end of 2026, CNA reported.

The military moved its anti-air artillery, including 35-millimeter twin cannons, close to the shoreline for Wednesday’s drills, which simulated the defense of the base against attacks by enemy jets and missiles. The Skyguard radar air defense system was also involved in the event, reports said.

The Air Force described the maneuvers as routine drills in preparation for the Lunar New Year holiday in late January and early February, though it also mentioned the almost daily incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). While most of the intrusions occur southwest of Taiwan’s main island, Chinese military aircraft occasionally also show up in the southeast, off Taitung County.