Apr 22, 2015
Taiwan to deploy P-3Cs to Spratlys
The aircraft are currently deployed in anti-submarine reconnaissance and surveillance operations in and around Taiwan's air defence identification zone.
However, the scope of the P-3C operations will be expanded to include waters in southeastern Taiwan and areas around the Spratly and Pratas islands.
Taiwan has to date taken delivery of eight of a total of 12 refurbished P-3C Orion aircraft from the US. The remaining four are due to be delivered by the end of 2015.
The P-3Cs are set to replace the Republic of China Air Force's fleet of 11 S-2T anti-submarine aircraft, which have been in service for more than 40 years.
China has built islands at Cuarteron, Gaven, Hughes, Johnson South, Subi and Mischief reefs, while it is also putting pressure on the Philippines.
For its part, Taiwan is seeking to expand its runway on Taiping Island (Itu Aba) in the Spratlys from the existing 1,150 m-long and 30 m-wide strip, which was completed in early 2008.