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September 22, 2017

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Anti-sub missile tests 'a success,' says Air Force

The R.O.C. Air Force has completed validation of the torpedo firing systems on the 12 P-3C anti-submarine aircraft purchased from the United States, officials disclosed Friday.

The Air Force base in the southern county of Pingtung had already successfully test-fired the MK-46 and MK-54 torpedoes from the P-3C Orion last year, the officials said, adding it showed the aircraft met the military's combat needs.

Delivery of the aircraft started in

September 2013, and the Air Force said the P-3C joined with the R.O.C. Navy's S-70 helicopters in an anti-submarine drill in September 2014.

In a move to dispel rumors the P-3C has had problems carrying torpedoes, the military arranged a press event in early 2016 to demonstrate how ground crew loaded torpedoes onto the aircraft. But, no firing of the torpedoes took place.

The last of the 12 P-3C planes will be delivered in July, the Air Force has disclosed.

 The P-3C are set to replace the S-2T as the backbone of Taiwan's anti-submarine wing. The S-2Ts have been in service for more than 40 years.

 Meanwhile, the Air Force said it respects and accepts a censure by the government watchdog Control Yuan over the purchase of EC225 Super Puma long-range passenger transport helicopters.

 The watchdog has pointed out flaws in every step of the procurement process that mean the Air Force has been unable to completely fulfill the goal it set itself when deciding to buy the Super Puma for rescue missions.

 It has revealed that the Super Puma cannot operate on high mountains.

 But the Air Force said the EC225 helicopters at its Chiayi base can operate in different scenarios, including daytime, nighttime and long-range rescue missions.

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