Thursday, September 06, 2012

MND denies AT-4 anti-armor rocket deployed to Itu Aba (Taiping)

Legislators look at a 40mm AA gun
Both the MND and the CGA denied reports that the launcher was delivered to the island. But there is no doubt that Taiwan is boosting its capabilities there 

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied reports that the Taiwanese army had “secretly” provided Coast Guard Administration forces on Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島) with AT-4 anti-armor rocket launchers to counter landing craft, a move that would have created further controversy with regional claimants. 

The news came as legislators and military officials were observing a live-fire exercise on Tuesday by the coast guard, which since 2000 has been in charge of protecting the island, located about 1,600km from Taiwan’s southernmost tip. Itu Aba is the largest island in the Spratly island chain (南沙群島). 

Citing military officials, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported that the AT-4 would help Taiwanese forces defend the island against landing-dock ships and vessels in nearby waters.

The AT-4
However, contacted yesterday, a spokesman at the ministry told the Taipei Times that the AT-4 “was not on the list of items shipped by the ministry to the island last month,” when the coast guard received delivery of an unspecified number of T63 120mm mortar systems and eight Bofors L/60 40mm anti-aircraft guns to replace older weapons. At the time, no announcement was made that the AT-4 would be part of the arms delivery. Coast guard spokesman Hsieh Ching-chin (謝慶欽) also said that coast guard personnel on the island had not been equipped with the AT-4. 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.


Anonymous said...

The AT-4 Spigot is a Russian wire-guided Anti-Tank missile. Taiwan's army uses the Saab Bofors Dynamics' anti-tank rocket launcher.

J. Michael Cole 寇謐將 said...

Thanks for the precisions.