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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Remote island to be equipped with TACAN antenna system

ROC Central News Agency

2012/02/06 20:08:15

By Chen Pei-huang and Deborah Kuo

Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) A tactical air navigation (TACAN) facility will be built on Taiwan's Taiping Island in the South China Sea to help transport planes to land there on misty days, a military source said Monday.

Taiwan's air force maintains a 1,200-meter airstrip on Taiping Island, the largest island in the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea.

However, as the facility lacks any kind of air navigation system, pilots have to make visual contact to land their transport planes, mainly C-130s, on the island strip and on misty days have to abort their landings and return to Kaohsiung.

A contract has already been awarded for the building of the TACAN facility and with construction scheduled to begin in late February, the seven-meter high TACAN facility is slated to be completed and put into service in September, the source said.

The government intends to cement Taiwan's sovereignty over the Spratly islands, which lie around 1,300 km southwest of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, by focusing on scientific research and environmental protection there.

China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines also claim all or part of the Spratly archipelago.

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