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Taiwan to widen seven air force runways

22nd January 2024 - 13:07 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


A US Air Force C-17 cargo plane in Taipei. (Photo: Senator Sullivan/Wikimedia Commons)

By widening seven military runways, the East Asian island’s Ministry of National Defense has anticipated Chinese missile strikes and will increase its air force’s ability to counterstrike.

Taiwan will widen the runways at seven of its air force bases to counter the threat of Chinese ballistic missile attacks, the country’s Ministry of National Defense has confirmed.

The move would reduce runway repair time following a missile strike from four hours to two-and-half hours for one or two large craters, according to a report in Taiwan News.

Upon completion, Taiwanese fighter jets would be able to rapidly respond to Chinese attacks via counterattacks, with Taiwan’s military runways increasing in width from between 45-50 metres to 60 metres.

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Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense conducted assessments and consulted with counterparts in the US over the decision, with the US helping in the construction and design of Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung. The runway at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base has a 60-metre standard width and can accommodate large transport planes and B-52 bombers.

The Taiwanese military has also been building a large-scale ammunition depot in Chiayi’s Shuishang Township for the Fourth Tactical Fighter Wing as part of a NT$163.5 million (US$5.2 million) project scheduled for completion by March 2025.

The depot will hold communication surveillance systems and house missiles and precision strike weapons, potentially including AGM-88 HARM missiles and AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapons.

The Shephard News Team


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