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Navy holds live-fire bombing drill off eastern Taiwan

2020-07-02  English News
Military vehicles carrying missiles drive through Taitung County Wednesday. / Photo courtesy of CNA
Military vehicles carrying missiles drive through Taitung County Wednesday. / Photo courtesy of CNA

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) A fleet of F-16 fighter jets, carrying live MK-84 general purpose bombs, departed from Hualien Jiashan Air Base on Wednesday in a drill that simulated bombing enemy ships.

The bombs were dropped in the sea off the eastern coast of Taiwan in a simulated attack on enemy ships seeking to reach the shore.

The MK-84, an American general-purpose bomb, is the most powerful in the MK-80 series and is highly destructive. With a nominal weight of 907.2 kilograms, it is nicknamed the hammer because of its considerable power.

On impact, the MK-84 can blow apart buildings and other structures. It can penetrate metal up to 38 centimeters and concrete up to 3.4 meters, depending on the height from which it is dropped, and it causes lethal fragmentation across a radius of 370m.

Also Wednesday, the Taiwan Navy conducted a torpedo exercise, but no torpedoes were actually fired, a military source told CNA.

On July 15, the Navy is scheduled to hold its first live-fire torpedo drill in 13 years, off Taiwan's coast, said the military source, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak on the subject.

During the live-fire exercise, a German-made SUT heavyweight torpedo is expected to be fired from the Navy's two Chien Lung class diesel-electric submarines, according to the military source.

The last time Taiwan's Navy carried out a live-fire torpedo exercise was in 2007.

Wednesday's drills were conducted ahead of the annual Han Kuang military exercises, which are scheduled for July 13-17.

On July 16, military forces will conduct a live-fire anti-landing exercise at a Taichung beach and drills at Taichung Port and Ching Chuan Kang Air Base simultaneously.