Artillery types

PLA launches long-range artillery rockets and conventional missiles in drills around Taiwan

A PHL-03 Long Range Multiple Launcher Rocket System (LRMLRS) attached to an artillery brigade under the PLA Group’s 74th Army fires rockets at a simulated target during a night raid exercise in a desert area not leaked from Northwest China on July 28, 2021. ( eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Huang Hai)

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Thursday launched large-scale military drills around the island of Taiwan, starting with live ammunition firing of long-range rocket artillery in designated areas of the eastern part of the Taiwan Strait and test launches of conventional missile weapons in designated waters east of the island of Taiwan.

After the drills began at 12:00 p.m., the PLA Eastern Theater Command announced in a press release that the military conducted long-range artillery live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait around 1:00 p.m., accurately hitting targets specific in the eastern side of the strait, and to achieve the desired result.

Video clips taken by netizens quickly circulated on social media showing that long-range rockets were fired from Pingtan in eastern China’s Fujian province, just 125 kilometers from the island of Taiwan.

Long-range rocket fire could be one of the first steps in a possible forcible reunification operation, as low-cost weapons can be launched en masse from the mainland across the Taiwan Strait to destroy military installations hostiles, including air defense installations. , radar systems, airfields, bases and command centers with precision, creating advantages for future operations of PLA warplanes and warships, a Beijing-based military expert told the Global Times on Thursday. requested anonymity.

In the afternoon, the PLA Eastern Theater Command’s Rocket Force launched assault fire with several types of conventional missiles in several designated sea areas east of Taiwan Island, Senior Colonel Shi said. Yi, spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command, in a statement.

That means the missiles, likely fired from the Chinese mainland, flew overhead over the island of Taiwan, observers said.

All the missiles hit their targets accurately, proving their precision strike and area denial capabilities and marking the success of the live-fire training mission, Shi said.

Area denial is a concept that describes the refusal of external forces to interfere in a specific area. In this context, that means the PLA’s conventional missile launches have practiced hitting foreign aircraft carriers that could intervene from the Philippine Sea in a possible forcible reunification operation, experts said.

A number of conventional PLA missiles, including the DF-21, DF-26 and hypersonic DF-17, can hit moving targets at sea, observers said.