Taipei [Taiwan], November 9 (ANI): Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence in a report on Tuesday stated it sent an ageing Hai Lung submarine to participate in defence drills near its disputed South China Sea island of Taiping, reported local media.
Experts have warned that amid escalating tensions with Beijing, rather than launching a full-scale attack on Taiwan, the communist regime might try and wrest control over Taiping and the other Taiwanese-held island of Dongsha.
The Coast Guard Administration send vessels to patrol near the islands but that the Navy's Hai Lung participated in regular drills in the area, the Liberty Times reported.
Currently, the Taiwanese navy operates two submarines built in the Netherlands during the 1980s, though Taiwan is now in the process of constructing its first indigenous submarine.
The National Defence Ministry's report did not reveal details about the timing and activities of the Hai Lung near Taiping Island. However, it emphasised that in peacetime, the submarine would be used to protect sea lanes and territorial waters, while in wartime, it could be ordered to attack enemy targets and lay mines, the Taiwanese newspaper reported.
The Hai Lung and its sister submarine, the Hai Hu, are equipped with six 21-inch torpedo tubes each. Both submarines can fire Harpoon missiles to destroy surface and underwater targets.
On Saturday, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence had stated that 20 Chinese fighter jets intruded into Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ) within the past 24 hours. The ministry on Saturday evening stated that 10 Shenyang J-16 and six Chengdu J-10 fighter jets had infringed on Taiwan's ADIZ. The 16 warplanes penetrated the southwest corner of Taiwan's ADIZ, just northeast of the Dongsha Islands (Pratas Islands). (ANI)