Long-range radar budget surges by NT$10 billion
The China Post news staff
January 6, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's long-range early-warning radar system recently became operational at a total cost of over NT$40 billion, up NT$10 billion from the original budget set in 2003, according to Kuomintang lawmaker Lin Yu-fang.
Lin said the NT$10 billion increase in the radar's budget, including a rise of NT$4 billion for 2013, was designed to boost the system's performance, enhance the security of its software, and reinforce its civil engineering. The NT$4 billion budget increase for 2013 was approved during an earlier secret meeting of the Legislature's National Defense Committee.
The radar system, which was purchased from the U.S., has been in construction for the last decade.
Lin made the remarks in response to questions from reporters after winding up a visit to the radar system on Loshan (2,680 meters above the sea), Hsinchu County in Northern Taiwan.
But Lin also said that the Air Force Command Headquarters has filed an application with the U.S. for arbitration over the justification of the latest budget increase of NT$4 billion. The arbitration will take one year to complete.
Lin said the long-range early-warning radar system can conduct a 360-degree surveillance sweep, with a radius of over 2,000 kilometers. This includes inland areas of mainland China, the Diaoyutai Islands, and Taiping island of the Spratly islands.
Lin said information from the long-range radar system can be sent to the nation's missile early-warning center and Patriot Anti-Missile System, and then be sent to the Hengshan Command Center and other key weapon carrier systems.
As the radar is located on a high mountain, its surveillance scope reaches far into mainland China. This enables it to monitor any potential ballistic and cruise missiles from China as well as the activity of aircraft at various military or civil airports in the country, according to Lin.
He stressed that in terms of surveillance performance Taiwan's long-range early-warning radar is superior to the same kind of systems deployed in the U.S., Britain and Denmark.
Lin said the U.S.' decision to cooperate closely with Taiwan in deploying the radar clearly demonstrates that Taiwan's strategic position in Asia is closely related to the core interests of the U.S. The data recorded by the system can be shared by both parties, Lin added.