22nd March 2023 – (Taipei) In response to China’s continued military aircraft incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), Taiwan’s Air Force conducted a series of exercises involving Mirage 2000 fighters on Tuesday. The exercises were part of a five-day drill that began on Monday, 20th March, and were viewed as a smaller version of the annual Han Kuang drills.
The Mirage 2000 fighters, along with an Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), were seen taxiing on the runway of Hsinchu Air Base before taking off at short notice. The exercise simulated an emergency intervention against enemy jets, highlighting the Air Force’s readiness and preparedness to respond to potential threats.
Trucks equipped with Sky Sword I missiles also took part in the drill, with the operators simulating the targeting of enemy aircraft. These exercises demonstrate Taiwan’s determination to protect its airspace and sovereignty against any external aggression.
China’s repeated military aircraft incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ have raised tensions in the region, with Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reporting that such incursions have increased significantly since 2020. This comes as China has stepped up its efforts to assert its sovereignty over Taiwan, which it considers a part of its territory, and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve reunification.
The drills conducted by Taiwan’s Air Force are part of a larger effort to enhance its defence capabilities and modernise its military equipment. In recent years, Taiwan has sought to upgrade its military hardware, including purchasing advanced fighter jets and missile systems from the United States.
The Mirage 2000 fighter jet, which was used in the exercise, is a multirole combat aircraft designed by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation. It is equipped with advanced avionics and weapon systems, making it an ideal platform for air defense and interception missions.
Taiwan’s military has also been developing its own indigenous defence capabilities, including the Indigenous Defence Fighter (IDF) used in the exercise. The IDF is a multirole combat aircraft developed by Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) in collaboration with US defence contractor General Dynamics.