TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese anti-submarine aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Sunday (Jan. 3), marking the 2nd intrusion this month.
A single People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) plane intruded into the southwest corner of the ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan scrambled fighter jets, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the Chinese aircraft.
The Y-8 is a medium-sized, medium-range transport aircraft based on the Soviet Antonov An-12 and produced by the Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation. It can be operated by as few as two or as many as five crew members, depending on the variant.
The Y-8 is 34 meters in length and has a 38-meter wingspan. It is outfitted with four WJ-6 turboprop engines and has a maximum speed of 660 kilometers per hour, a 10.4-km service ceiling, a ferry range of 4,800 km, and a maximum range of 5,615 km.
The anti-submarine warfare variant of the Y-8 includes an air-to-surface radar located in a fairing at the chin position, a side-looking inverse synthetic aperture radar, and a magnetic anomaly detector tube protruding from the aft-end of the fuselage. Inline antenna protrusions for various sensors are located along the dorsal and ventral fuselage spines.
In addition to ASW missions, the Chinese military plane can also monitor and patrol strategic waters and carry out target acquisition.
Since mid-September, China has been regularly sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone. According to MND data, PLAAF aircraft were detected in the ADIZ 19 times in December, 22 times in November, and 22 times in October, including a drone on Oct. 22.
Flight path of Chinese plane on Jan. 3 (MND image)