China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet. Photo: Reuters
China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet. Photo: Reuters

Taiwan will hold a war game on Tuesday aimed at simulating an attack by China’s only operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Taiwan’s army has juggled several other drills to fit in with the new exercise.

Newspapers in Taiwan noted that the exercise would center around a scenario in which Chinese fighter jets from the Liaoning would launch sorties against air bases along Taiwan’s Pacific coastline.

Reports said the Taiwanese navy’s largest warship, the 20,859-ton Panshi, a multi-role fast combat support ship, would lead the defense against the Liaoning‘s air raids, electronic interference and jamming targeting the Chiashan Air Base at Hualien Airport as well as other key military installations along the island’s east coast.

The Panshi fast combat support ship. Photo: WikiMedia
The location of Hualien Airport, which houses the Chiashan Air Base. Photo: Google Maps

The Chiashan Base’s underground complex and fighter hangars have already had the additional protection of gun-based, point-defense close-in weapons.

These weapons, consisting of radar, multiple-barrel rotary rapid-fire cannons placed on rotating gun mounts, as well as missile systems with infrared radar terminal guidance, are said to be the bulwark against threats from Chinese bombers and fighters should they pierce through Taiwan’s airspace.

Taiwan’s Army Aviation and Special Forces Command will deploy rotary-wing aircraft as the opposing force in the drill.

Taiwan has seen an unprecedented number of drills and exercises this year, following the annual, all-out anti-Chinese invasion Han Kuang Exercise conducted in April and May and several smaller drills ranging from airlifting to electronic warfare.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in the island’s second largest city Kaohsiung are looking into a suspected national security breach involving the theft of classified data including correspondence and technical details about the electronic warfare capabilities of a frigate.

Investigators have already questioned how the suspect, reportedly a low-ranking IT repairman, could gain access to the highly restricted operations room on the Kang Ding-class frigate, the Cheng De, calling the incident “unthinkable.”

In January last year, the suspect allegedly transferred classified data from a military hard drive to a 50-gigabyte USB flash drive, a process that took three hours.

Prosecutors are yet to determine whether the suspect had given the stolen information to Chinese spies.

A navy spokesperson insisted that an internal investigation showed the frigate’s systems were not compromised and no sensitive information was founded on the USB drive.