Taiwan receives first of P-3C anti-submarine aircraft from U.S.

P-3CUS Navy P-3Cs are armed with the Harpoon anti-ship and stand-off land attack missile.

Taiwan takes delivery of 1st P-3C anti-submarine aircraft

Claudia Liu and Sofia Wu report for the Republic of China’s (ROC) Central News Agency on Sept. 25, 2013, that Taiwan finally took delivery of the first of 12 P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft from the United States today when the plane arrived at the Pingtung County air base in southern Taiwan from Guam.

A delivery ceremony was held at the air base, with Maj. Gen. Yuan Chi-kang, head of the ROC Air Force’s 439th Combined Wing, presiding. Air Force personnel sprayed water over the aircraft as it taxied down the tarmac to welcome its arrival in Taiwan.

The P-3C was flown to Taiwan by American personnel for liability reasons, with Taiwanese military staff along for the flight.

Capable of staying up in the air for 12 hours with a range of 2,800 nautical miles, the P-3C will help upgrade Taiwan’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The U.S. government approved the sale of the 12 P-3Cs with T-56 turboprop engines and related equipment and services, a package valued at US$1.96 billion, in 2007. The last of the P-3Cs is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2015.

The aircraft is said to be the most capable of Lockheed’s P-3 family of submarine-detecting aircraft. In addition to detecting ships on and below the surface, the P-3C also has powerful anti-ship and anti-submarine attack capabilities.

Noting that anti-submarine warfare plays a key role in safeguarding Taiwan Strait security, the ROC Air Force said the P-3C fleet will help Taiwan better protect navigation safety and give Taiwan a naval edge with its highly advanced reconnaissance, surveillance and communications systems.

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One response to “Taiwan receives first of P-3C anti-submarine aircraft from U.S.

  1. This will certainly be a big step up from the 11 S-2T they are using now, especially during peacetime for maritime reconnaissance, but if I were them I wouldn’t count on too many sorties from their P-3C if an invasion starts. Operating a few jet fighters from highway strips is one thing, but trying to keep several thousand feet of runway open for these Orions while Chinese SRBMs are raining down is something else entirely.

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