Taiwan will strengthen the defense ability of its two outlying islands close to mainland China ahead of schedule to dissuade a potential Chinese invasion.
Taiwan has purchased six sets of the short-range weapons systems to be in part deployed on Lienchiang County’s Dongyin Island and Kinmen County’s Wuchiu Island
Dongyin is less than 30 miles from the Fujian province in mainland China, while Kinmen Island is even closer, lying just a bit more than 6 miles to the mainland.
Two islands have often been regarded as vulnerable targets that the Chinese military might seize before launching an attack on the island of Taiwan itself.
The Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) 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.
News of the early deployment schedule came just weeks after an alleged Chinese civilian aircraft flew near Dongyin in a move Taiwan claims to wear out the island’s air force and test the responses of its military.
Last week, in a report delivered to lawmakers, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said they completed the weapons system testing. The ministry asked lawmakers to release the funding for its deployment.
Top Taiwanese weapons builder National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, the provider of the deal, said the short-range automated system presents two T-75 20mm autocannons positioned side by side, along with associated sensors, power, and command-and-control equipment.
The institute said the system also features image recognition, target locking, ballistic correction, and fire-control tracking, which ensures fast, fierce, vicious, and accurate firepower, thus greatly increasing the military’s short-range defense capabilities.