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Kaohsiung Maritime 2018: Taiwan navy conducts first co-ordinated ASW drills with P-3C aircraft

27 September 2018
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A model of the P-3C aircraft on display at the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense’s pavilion during an exhibition in Kaohsiung. Source: IHS Markit/Ridzwan Rahmat

To validate its recently enhanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, the Republic of China Navy (RoCN) has for the first time taken part in co-ordinated drills involving one of the country's 12 recently received US-made P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).

The drills, which are known as the No. 34 Exercise, were conducted across several days in June 2018, and involved the RoCN's Cheng Kung-class frigates, an official from the service told Jane's on 27 September at the Kaohsiung International Maritime and Defence exhibition.

The P-3C MPAs were commissioned by the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) in 2017. "The aircraft has improved our flying time, and greatly improved Taiwan's ability to detect submarines operating in our territorial seas," said the RoCN official. "The co-ordinated action by the navy and the air force is a demonstration that we are now better equipped to detect these submarines," he added.

The RoCN official did not give specific details of equipment and systems that were deployed at the exercise citing confidentiality concerns, but noted that it involved usage of a 'common picture' to detect, identify, track, and launch a torpedo at a simulated submarine target.

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