TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese military helicopter was tracked in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday (May 15), marking the 11th day of intrusions this month.
A single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Harbin Z-9 anti-submarine warfare helicopter appeared in Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF helicopter.
An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s airspace where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves. So far this month, China has sent 42 military aircraft into Taiwan’s identification zone, including 14 fighter jets, 13 spotter planes, six bombers, and nine helicopters.
Since September 2020, China has increased its use of gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner. In 2021, Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s ADIZ on 961 instances over 239 days, according to the MND.
Gray zone tactics are defined as “an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resort to direct and sizable use of force.”
Flight path of Chinese helicopter on May 15. (MND image)