Taiwan Plans Independent Upkeep of its Patriot Interceptors

Taiwan intends to eventually take on upkeep of its own Patriot Advanced Capability 2 missile interceptors, shifting slowly away from reliance on U.S. support as a means of streamlining the refurbishment process and reducing its expense, Taiwanese Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said on Wednesday.

In a comparable step, the island moved previously to care for certain parts of its Hawk anti-air missiles, Kao told lawmakers in comments reported by the Taiwanese Central News Agency.

Addressing the minister at a parliamentary discussion on armed services spending, legislator Lin Yu-fang noted Taiwan had allotted nearly $7.9 million in 2012 to ship PAC-2 systems for refurbishment in the United States. Certain Patriot antimissile equipment is close to ending its 15-year service period, the lawmaker said, urging the Defense Ministry to examine the potential to independently care for some of the gear to help cut expenses.

Separately, a planned Taiwanese firing drill is expected to incorporate the island's Standard Missile 2 interceptors, Kao said. The trial could take place as soon as next July and as late as December 2013, he indicated.

Taipei's air defenses are primarily aimed at providing protection from China, which claims authority over Taiwan and has threatened the use of force to block any move toward formal independence.

October 25, 2012
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Taiwan intends to eventually take on upkeep of its own Patriot Advanced Capability 2 missile interceptors, shifting slowly away from reliance on U.S. support as a means of streamlining the refurbishment process and reducing its expense, Taiwanese Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said on Wednesday.

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