Response to simulated carrier group attack staged this week
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-20 09:57 AM
On Monday Taiwan launched a computerized war game centered on its newly acquired squadron of AH-64 Apache helicopters to counter a simulated attack by a Chinese aircraft carrier group.

The five-day drill, a prelude to the nation’s biggest annual military maneuvers, which are scheduled for September this year, is designed to test the island’s defense capabilities against the rapidly expanding military might of its giant cross-strait neighbor. Officials of the Ministry of National Defense declined to go into further details regarding the exercise.

One scenario in the drill involves a simulated assault on Taiwan’s east coast by a Chinese aircraft carrier group. With the bulk of its military deployment situated on the island’s west coast facing China, the east coast is relatively vulnerable to invasion by an attacking force.

This week’s exercise features weaponry acquired last year drill for the first time. It includes the latest generation of US-made Apaches, considered by many military analysts to be the world’s most lethal attack helicopter; P-3C submarine hunting aircraft; and an upgraded version of Taiwan’s Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF).

Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have eased during President Ma Ying-jeou’s China-friendly administration, but Beijing still refuses to rule out the use of force against Taiwan if it declares independence.

The People’s Liberation Army splashed ballistic missiles into the sea north of Taiwan during a series of live-fire drills in 1995 and 1996. The action was meant to deter Taiwanese from voting for Lee Teng-hui, the independence-minded president who was seeking another four-year term. China halted its saber-rattling only after the US President Bill Clinton ordered two aircraft carrier battle groups to patrol waters near the island.

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