Taiwan's new early warning radar system covers nearly 360 degrees and a reconnaissance distance as far as 3,000 nautical miles that helped Taiwan detect North Korea's rocket launch even minutes earlier than Japan, a source with the Air Force has said.
The long-range early warning radar system helped the nation detected North Korea's rocket launch shortly after it blasted off Dec. 12, the source said.
The long-range early warning radar system installed at Loshan in Hsinchu County was formally inaugurated last month.
The source said that Taiwan's long-range radar can even collect information of some areas in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, including the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea and Taiping Island, the largest island in the Sprately Islands in the South Sea.
The Diaoyutai Islands, located about 100 natuical miles northeast of Taiwan, is under Japan's administrative control since 1972 , but is also claimed by Taiwan and China.
The budget of the U.S.-built radar system was increased by another US$200 million last year to more than NT$40 billion (US$1.38 billin), an mount the Air Force found unacceptable and has asked for an arbitration.
Statistics showed that the system is more powerful than those of the same type currently in service in the United States, according to the source.
The radar can detect and track short- and long-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, the source said, adding that the radar can pinpoint the trajectory of any intruding missile and thus give Taiwan more time to prepare a response.