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Taiwan's MND reports incursion of 39 PLAAF aircraft

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that it mobilised its combat aircraft on 23 January in response to a deployment of 39 Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft in its air defence identification zone (ADIZ). The incursion was the largest reported by the MND since October 2021.

In a statement the MND said the PLAAF aircraft were operating in the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to Dongsha (also called Pratas) Island, which is administered by Taiwan. This position has often been cited by the MND as the location of increasingly regularly ADIZ incursions.

According to the MND, PLAAF aircraft activity in the ADIZ on 23 January featured 24 Shenyang J-16 and 10 Chengdu J-10 fighter aircraft. Other aircraft included two Shaanxi Y-9 (possibly a Y-9JB or Y-9G variant) and two Shaanxi Y-8 (possibly a Y-8G or Y-8CB) electronic intelligence aircraft, and one H-6 series strategic bomber.

According to a map published by the MND, the J-10s, some of the J-16s, and the H-6 flew into and then out of the southwestern edge of the ADIZ. Some of the J-16s and the Y-8 and Y-9 aircraft flew into and then out of the southwest corner of the ADIZ.

The MND said that in response to these flights, it mobilised the Republic of China Air Force's (RoCAF's) combat air patrol and deployed “air-defence missile systems” for monitoring purposes.

Beijing was yet to comment on the aircraft deployments at the time of publication.

In early October the MND reported a series of aircraft incursions that apparently coincided with celebrations in Beijing to mark the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

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