Taiwan Receives Enhanced Patriot Interceptors

Three Patriot Advanced Capability 2 interceptor batteries have been returned to Taiwan after undergoing enhancements in the United States, the Central News Agency quoted the autonomously governed island's defense head as saying on Thursday (see GSN, Feb. 15; Chen/Wang, Central News Agency, April 5).

The systems were updated to PAC-3 capabilities, the China Post reported on Wednesday (Joseph Yeh, China Post, April 4).

Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu told Taiwanese lawmakers that four new U.S. PAC-3 systems should be sent to Taiwan in 2014, according to the CNA report. Discussions are continuing on the acquisition of two additional batteries, he said.

The defense chief said his ministry was open to collaborating with the U.S. and Japanese militaries to monitor a long-range rocket due to be fired by North Korea later this month (see related GSN story, today; Chen/Wang, Central News Agency).

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.

The China Post quoted the Kanwa Asian Defense Monthly magazine as reporting that China is building launch platforms in a region 160 miles from Taiwan. Dongfeng 11 short-range ballistic missiles could take off from the platforms, the report says.

Taiwan most recently has estimated that China has roughly 1,500 ballistic missiles aimed at the island, the Post reported (Yeh, China Post).

April 6, 2012
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Three Patriot Advanced Capability 2 interceptor batteries have been returned to Taiwan after undergoing enhancements in the United States, the Central News Agency quoted the autonomously governed island's defense head as saying on Thursday.

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