Taiwan Tests Anti-Ballistic missile Amid Tensions With Beijing

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:47 AM, December 15, 2016
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Taiwan Tests Anti-Ballistic missile Amid Tensions With Beijing
Tien Kung anti-ballistic missile system

Taiwan on Wednesday has test fired its indigenous Tien Kung anti-ballistic missile system amid heightened tensions with Beijing.

The missile was tested during a three-day live-fire exercise off the coast of eastern Taiwan to test its air defense capabilities, Taiwan News reported Thursday.

Beijing has been ramping up military exercises around Taiwan's periphery amid heightened tensions, following US President-elect Donald Trump suggestion that the US was not necessarily bound by the "one China" policy.

The drills were staged just days after Chinese military aircraft surrounded Taiwan for the second time in less than a month. However they have not entered the country's air defense identification zone.

The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology will be holding a live-fire drill from its Jiupeng Base, in Pingtung County from Dec. 14-16.

For the duration of the test, civilian ships and aircraft are restricted from entering a sea "danger zone" that runs 200 kilometers from Jiuping in the south to Yilan in the north, and airspace above the zone up to 80,000 feet.

Long-range anti-aircraft artillery and missiles are expected to be tested, including Taiwan's domestically developed air defense system - the Sky Bow series of surface-to-air anti-ballistic missiles (ABM). 

In order to deter Chinese military aircraft from approaching the east coast of Taiwan, the army would strategically deploy three batteries of its most advanced ABM system - the Sky Bow III - which has a range of 200 kilometers.

Also on Wednesday, the army staged an air defense drill known as "Lien Hsiang" which used two F-16 Falcon fighter jets to simulate the response of air defenses to a night attack by PLA military aircraft on Hualien Air Force Base.

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