By Kayleigh Madjar / Staff writer
The deployment of new short-range automated defense systems on two outlying islands is running ahead of schedule and is to be completed by the end of this year at the latest, the military said in a briefing to lawmakers.
The army and navy have purchased six sets of the short-range weapons systems to be in part deployed on Lienchiang County’s Dongyin Island (引 引) and Kinmen County’s Wuchiu Island (烏坵).
The Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) yesterday reported that the Wuchiu system is expected to be deployed by June, while the system in Dongyin should become operational by the end of this year.
Photo: Screen grab from Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology’s Web site
News of the early deployment schedule came weeks after a Chinese civilian aircraft on Feb. 5 flew near Dongyin in a move widely interpreted as a provocation or test of Taiwan’s combat readiness.
The systems are based on the locally produced T-75 20mm autocannon, with the option of the single-barrel XTR-101 or twin-barrel XTR-102, the Ministry of National Defense said previously of the purchase.
It can be used on land, or mounted on vehicles or ships, as well as remotely controlled to ensure operational safety.
Equipped with image recognition, target locking, ballistic correction and fire-control tracking, the system ensures “fast, fierce, vicious and accurate” firepower, greatly enhancing the military’s short-range defense capabilities, the newspaper quoted the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology as saying.
The UDN quoted the Navy Command as saying in the report to the Legislative Yuan that testing of four weapons systems was completed by Oct. 8 last year, while construction and electrical installations at the site were completed by December.
Originally scheduled to become operational by the end of this year, the navy said it moved the deployment of the Wuchiu system forward to June.
Construction work on Dongyin was completed last month, the Army Command Headquarters said.
The system is expected to be moved to the island between next month and July, and installed in August and September, the UDN cited the report as saying.
Training would be conducted in September for final checks by October or November, it added.
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