Six jets - two F-16s, two Mirage 2000-5s and two Taiwan-built Indigenous Defence Fighters - landed on a motorway near Tainan(台南) city, where they refuelled and loaded with missiles and other ammunition before taking off again.
The exercise is part of a series of war games stretching over a five-day period and codenamed 'Han Kuang(漢光) 27', or 'Han Glory 27', which involved more than 1,300 soldiers.
The ROC military held an emergency landing and takeoff drill on a stretch of Freeway No. 1 near Madou District in Tainan City in the early morning of April 12 as part of the annual Hankuang exercises.
The drill simulated a wartime situation in which runways at airbases in southern Taiwan are destroyed by mainland Chinese guided missile attacks, according to the Ministry of National Defense. “In such an event, sections of highways that have been designed to accommodate military aircraft need to be employed,” said the MND.
The ROC air force’s three main jet fighters, the F-16, Indigenous Defense Fighter and Mirage 2000, took part in the one-hour drill. Other aircraft participating in the exercise included the CH-47 transport, OH-58D scout and attack, and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters.
This marked the first time that the air force and army’s airborne and special operations unit have jointly taken part in such an exercise.
It was also the third landing and takeoff drill staged on Sun Yat-sen Freeway since it opened to traffic in the 1970s, following similar exercises in 2004 on a highway section near Rende District in Tainan and in 2007 on a stretch near Huatan Township in the western county of Changhua.
On April 11, the military held an anti-landing drill, also part of the ongoing Hankuang exercises, at the mouth of the Danshui River in New Taipei City, located about 10 kilometers from capital Taipei City. (SB)
Various sections of the island's motorways are designed to be used as runways at short notice.
Air Force Colonel Li Wen-yu said preparation was as vital as the exercise itself, with dozens of soldiers cleaning debris off the highway before any craft could land on it.