After China's Military Exercise, Taiwan Shows off the Most Advanced F-16V Fighter Jet Equipped with Missiles

After China's Military Exercise, Taiwan Shows off the Most Advanced F-16V Fighter Jet Equipped with Missiles
Military personnel standing beside Harpoon A-84, AIM-120 and AIM-9 anti-ship missiles and air-to-air missiles in front of F16V fighter jets

Taipei - Taiwan's military on Wednesday (17/8/2022) showed off its most advanced fighter jet, the missile-equipped F-16V, in a rare nighttime demonstration. The exhibition follows China's unprecedented military exercises around the island.

China held days of air and sea drills in the Taiwan Strait this month following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a US Congressional delegation to the self-governing island.

Taiwan's military has conducted its own drills to simulate defense against a Chinese invasion. On Wednesday, air force personnel deployed F-16V fighters carrying US-made anti-ship missiles in a "combat readiness" exercise at an air base in the eastern region of Hualien.

Six F-16V fighter jets then took off for reconnaissance and night training missions, including two aircraft armed with missiles, according to the Taiwan Air Force. "In the face of threats from the recent military exercises of the Chinese communist forces, we remain vigilant while establishing the concept of 'the battlefield is everywhere and practice at any time'... to ensure national security," the Taiwan Air Force said in a statement.

Taiwan lives under constant threat of invasion by China, which claims the democratically-ruled island as part of its territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary. Taipei has accused Beijing of using Pelosi, the top US elected official to visit in decades, as an excuse to start drills that would allow it to train for the invasion.

Taiwan has increased its aging fighter jet fleet in recent years, as fears of military action by Beijing have grown. In addition, Taiwan's Air Force continues to be under pressure by more frequent Chinese attacks on its air defense zones.

In November, Taiwan deployed its first squadron of US-made F-16Vs, upgraded and much more sophisticated versions of other F-16 fighters, dating back to the 1990s. The F-16V deal was approved by US President Donald Trump's administration as he clashed with China on a number of issues. However, his successor Joe Biden has maintained similar support for Taipei.

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