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Early-warning system won't be disrupted by Chinese radar: MND

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The People's Liberation Army's (PLA) new large phased array radar is not capable of interfering with Taiwan's long-range radar system, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday.

Taiwan's long-range radar system, also known as the Surveillance Radar Program (SRP), has been running smoothly ever since it was commissioned into the R.O.C. military last January, military spokesman Luo Shao-he (羅紹和) told The China Post yesterday.

“Over the past year, the radar system has successfully detected missiles launched by nearby countries,” Luo said, proving that the radar system has been working perfectly.

Luo made the comments in response to a foreign media report that said the PLA has recently developed a new large phased array radar based at China's Fujian province, which is capable of jamming Taiwan's long-range radar system.

According to a recent article for the London-based Jane's Defense Weekly published last week, the PLA's latest radar system is capable of “matching the pulse repetition frequency of Taiwan's radar signals” so that “the Chinese radar can interfere with the ability of the SRP to track targets. ”

The article also quoted an unidentified Taiwanese senior official to confirm that China's large phased array radar has interfered with Taiwan's SRP before.

Asked to comment, Luo yesterday that the MND has been closely monitoring the latest radar system built by the Chinese military in Fujian province's Huian County.

Refuting the foreign media report, the spokesman said the PLA's radar system has no impact on the operation of Taiwan's SRP.

No Plan to Build Second EWR

Meanwhile, Luo yesterday said that Taiwan currently has no plan to purchase a second early-warning radar (EWR) from the United States.

Taiwan's first EWR, located in Leshan (樂山), Hsinchu County, was commissioned into the Taiwan military last February. The radar system is built to buy local military more time and to help strengthen the country's combat readiness in the event of possible Chinese air strikes.

 Luo did not give a reason for the MND's decision to drop the plan to buy a second EWR from the U.S.

 But the Chinese-language United Evening News said yesterday that another EWR will be too costly for Taiwan. It cost nearly NT$700 million to NT$800 million a year for the military to support the EWR, a military source told the newspaper yesterday.

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