The Taiwanese military will soon test-fire Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 systems in the US, Liberty Times reported, citing sources.
The live-fire verification drill will happen at the US Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the Taipei-based outlet added. The test can be conducted in the US only due to security reasons.
The exercise is geared towards strengthening the Taiwanese military’s air combat capabilities against the Chinese missile threat, unmanned military officials told the outlet.
The exercise occurs every two years on American soil and involves firing off two Patriot missiles targeting a drone simulating a Chinese medium-range missile, Taiwan News revealed. If the missiles miss the target, another projectile is launched immediately, the outlet added.
Taiwan will send a task force for on-site inspection along with a team of 40 officials of the missile unit team.
The island territory spent 179.14 billion New Taiwan dollars ($6.38 billion) to acquire six PAC-3 systems between 2007 and 2021. The amount also includes the upgrade of three PAC-2 systems to the latest variant.
The surface-to-air missiles system intercepts incoming threats “including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft,” its manufacturer Lockheed Martin stated.
The system consists of the missile, the missile canisters in four packs, a fire solution computer, and an enhanced launcher electronics system.