In the face of China’s continued escalation of military intimidation and diplomatic blockade, Taiwan (officially the Republic of China, ROC) staged an air show with displays of warplanes in southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County on August 11, 2018. The event marked the 81st Anniversary of the Republic of China Air Force Day and served to raise public awareness regarding the importance of national defense.
The air show featured F-16 fighters, Dassault Mirage 2000s fighters, Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF), Phantom fighter bombers (幽靈戰鬥轟炸機), Sikorsky S-70 helicopters (賽考斯基S-70直升機), and other aircraft.
Flying a full formation of seven aircraft at the aerial demonstration, the Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team (雷虎小組) performed several stunts, including diving from a height of several hundred meters and then flying upward to simulate a mushrooming explosion.
In the meantime, the ROC Army Skydiving Team (神龍小組) also performed, descending with the ROC national flag and ROC Military flag over the Chiayi Air Base.
Besides the performances in the air, the Chiayi Air Base was also open to allow the general public to witness the displays of warplanes and the performances conducted by the Air Force’s Honor Guards and the Army’s Special Forces. These activities were also aimed at showcasing the Taiwan Air Force’s combat readiness and its military capacities to defend Taiwanese territory.
The warplanes and air defense systems on display at the Chiayi Air Base included F-16 fighters, Dassault Mirage 2000s fighters, an AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter (超級眼鏡蛇攻擊直升機), P-3C anti-submarine aircraft (P-3C反潛機), UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters (黑鷹救護直升機), an AT-3 jet trainer (AT-3教練機), an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior (OH-58D戰搜直升機), E-2K Hawkeye early-warning and control aircraft (E-2K空中預警機), the Patriot missile defense system and other missile defense systems, etc. About 10,000 spectators marveled at the thrilling aerobatic performances and the displays at the Chiayi Air Base.
In addition to the event in Chiayi County, the Taitung Air Force Base in eastern Taiwan’s Taitung County also held an open day event on July 14 of this year to mark the 81st anniversary of Republic of China Air Force Day.
The Republic of China Air Force Day was adopted to commemorate a battle with Imperial Japanese warplanes over Jianqiao air base (筧橋基地) in China’s Hangzhou City (杭州市) on August 14, 1937. The incident was regarded as the beginning of Japan’s full invasion of the Republic of China, which resulted in the 8-year Sino-Japanese War.