Taiwanese armed forces have conducted live fire air defence tests today at the Jiupeng Air Base in Pingtung as part of regular training exercises, the Ministry of National Defence has announced.

President Ma Ying-jeou witnessed the tests, which involved the firing of 19 missiles, of which five failed to hit their targets at the military base in the island’s south.

“Some missiles missed the targets, and we need to review if these errors were mechanical or human. We also need to hold more drills to boost military capabilities,” Ma added.

According to analysts, the tests were meant to showcase Taiwan’s defence capabilities and its determination to defend its national security following China’s first-known test flight of the J-20 aircraft.

The drills also covered combat tactics and strategies, and air counterattacks, whilst also test firing a variety of missiles, including Tien-kung, Hawk, Sparrow, Stinger, vehicle-launched Tien-Chien I short-range, and air-to-air missiles.

About 12 units of the army’s 602 Air Cavalry Brigade, the Marine Corps 77 Brigade and the Air Force 427 Wing participated in the drill.