Defence of Taiwan

Musashi_kenshin

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  1. HF-III anti-ship missile production increased from 20 to 70 units a year
  2. HF-II and HF-1 anti-ship missile production increased from 81 to 131 units a year
  3. Hsiung Sheng is the new name of the HF-IIE cruise missile
  4. Hai Chien II (TC-2) surface-to-air missile production increased from 40 to 150 units a year
  5. TK-III air defence missile production increased from 48 to 96 units a year
  6. Wan Chien air-to-ground cruise missile production at 50 years a year
  7. Chien Hsiang loitering munition production 48 units a year
Production of the the Hsiung Sheng missile, Wan Chien missile and Chien Hsiang loitering munition will complete in 2024 or 2025.

All in all this would mean a substantial increase in Taiwan's inventory of anti-air, anti-ship and cruise missiles/loitering munitions.
 
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OPSSG

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Interesting conversation with Taiwan's representative to the U.S.
Typical of the Taiwanese. Ready to BS anyone

I have written extensively why Taiwan is investing too little on its army to be credible. The Taiwanese conscript is poorly trained and motivated by any objective standard. Don’t ask them to compare with a Singaporean or a Israeli solider in the reserves — they can’t even match the standards of the Russian conscript.
 
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STURM

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Yes I'm aware of what you've written on. She's Taiwan's top diplomat in the U.S; her job is to put Taiwan in the best possible light and she was merely talking about the China threat. It's part of her job to play up a China threat and to remind a U.S. audience of Taiwan's deternination t defend itself. The fact that Taiwan doesn't have a conscript or NS network in place comparable to Israel and Singapore is a very pertinent issue but one slightly different to the general.comments she was making as a Taiwanese diplomat.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 1 of 3: Minor clarifications

1. If Taiwan’s Navy was not corrupt, the Kang Ding class would be armed like the Formidable Class.

2. If the ROCAF would consider buying 6 to 12 air-to-air tankers, I would respect them — Singapore operates 6 A330 MRTTs. The ROCAF operate zero tankers. Singapore’s Air Force is less than 1/4 the size of Taiwan’s but in many ways, much more capable. ASK YOURSELF, how often do ROCAF fighters crash?

3. If the Taiwanese Army have placed an order for 200 to 300 modern MBTs that are threat relevant, I would respect them — Singapore operates over 208 Leopard 2SG MBTs. The Taiwanese Army only ordered 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks. 1 MBT can’t be in 2 places, you know?

4. Su Tzu-yun, an associate research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR) in Taiwan, says that Taiwan should continue to strengthen its asymmetric capabilities by investing in naval sea mines or coast-based anti-ship missiles. Based on the data Su of INDSR has collected, 16 out of the 18 weapons sold by the US to Taiwan since 2017 are used for "asymmetric force."

her job is to put Taiwan in the best possible light and she was merely talking about the China threat. It's part of her job to play up a China threat…
5. Just more BS from Taiwanese DPP politicians and their favoured diplomats — with a vested interest in talking about military reform but doing as little as possible. Deterrence failed in Ukraine. What lesson must Taiwan learn and what steps must the locals take to ensure deterrence doesn't fail in Taiwan? IMO, Taipei is Kabul on steroids.

6. Is Taiwan determined to defend itself? I am sure that the US DoD discussing the matter with the US State Department knows how lacking they are. Taipei is lying to White House about their actual resolve or over selling the coherence of their local sector defence plans.

7. The Taiwanese conscript can’t take hardship (and I have spoken to a few of them), their reservist defence mindset is terrible, and their civil defence shelters are under equipped — spaces are allocated as bomb shelters but they have no equipment there (or in storage).
(a) Taiwan’s current All-out Defense Mobilization Readiness Act (全民防衛動員準備法) sets out in detail the responsibilities for each ministry and department, and specifies that the agencies requisitioning private property must send down written orders and issue receipts. But if you talk to the building owners in Taipei, with basements designated as bomb shelters, you will know that this is an unworkable plan, if the button for war is pushed. A Potemkin village really.​
(b) Enoch Wu, the founder of Forward Alliance, an NGO that trains civilians in medical skills needed in the event of disasters or military attack, says Taiwanese people have rushed to join in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. The waiting list for the short workshop has grown to more than 1,000 people — they are so poorly resourced that they can’t even train those who volunteered.​

8. Taiwan’s National Police Agency has a map of the shelters on the Web (search for: 防空疏散避難專區). The map shows that most of them are buildings that happen to have basements. Building codes in Taiwan require basements to be constructed to withstand earthquakes. They are not real bomb shelters — as they even lack proper blast resistant doors or the required ventilation systems.

9. Below is a picture of a Singapore HDB bomb shelter door and it’s associated air vent. The spec of the doors are higher end than most common Taiwanese bomb shelters. DON’T even compare their MRT bomb shelters to ours. I know how they prepare — it’s just rubbish.

3548ADF5-5451-47F0-9422-6A7E621660B7.jpeg
 
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STURM

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Let's be clear; I'm not disputing what you're saying on Taiwan's many failing to create and maintain an effective defence capability. Your views on this issue are well known and have been well explained; as have your frequent comparisons to Singapore.

My comments were directed at the person in the video; Taiwan's top diplomat in the U.S; whose job it is to put Taiwan in the best possible light and to play up and remind others of the threat posed by China. Does she ''BS''? No doubt but all or most diplomats do to some extent and they also downplay or embellish things.
 
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Musashi_kenshin

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I should also point out that the UK government and its diplomats routinely make grand statements about the performance of our military, even when the facts show the capabilities have been seriously degraded. Our forces may be more professionally trained than Taiwan's, but we have real problems including:

1. recruitment problems for the Army meaning that the recent cuts were in part just reflecting its actual status;
2. readiness issues relating to point 2;
3. a decade or so's gap in carrier aviation that is still being regenerated;
4. no modern heavyweight AShM;
5. a scout tank project costing £5 billion that may have to be cancelled with little to show for it;
6. a "national flagship" that is costing about the same as the temporary AShM project we were going to have to cover item 4;
7. cuts in AWACS numbers;
8. an ever shrinking tank fleet; and
9. more than I really have the energy to detail.

It's not the job of diplomats to undermine government policy, they're there to present the best story possible. In Taiwan's case, its lack of formal diplomatic relations and limited international space means that it's vital to be positive when it does have a voice. Its officials can't make speaches in the UN or stand in the White House garden next to the Secretary of State/President giving media interviews.

Perhaps in an ideal world enough high-profile Taiwanese diplomats, politicians and military officers would resign until the public accepted the need for universal, lengthy conscription and taxes to pay for more defence spending. But that's the same with a lot of countries including the UK (at least regarding the latter).

Also I think, OPSSG, some of your comments were unreasonable. The Kang Ding corruption scandal was over a quarter of a century ago when Taiwan was still transitioning into a proper democracy, and as far as I'm aware France refused to sell Crotale. Aster wasn't an option in the 1990s, and I expect France would want a big sum of money to upgrade them now (far more than the indigenous project).

Singapore has more modern tanks, you're right. But as far as I understand it the Leopard 2 is somewhat cheaper than an Abrams. I also came across an article that suggested Singapore got a very good deal on at least some of them. There's also a continuing argument as to whether the Abrams is a good fit for Taiwan due to its weight, albeit I haven't performed a structual analysis of Taiwan's bridges so cannot comment as to how limited its movement would be.

As for refuelling aircraft, I'm sure I read somewhere that the US had previously refused to sell them on the basis they'd be unlikely to last long and would therefore be a waste of money. I would be happy to be corrected of course, but that sounds right to me based on previous administrations reluctance to give Taiwan what it asks for.

As you know, Taiwan is very limited in terms of who will sell it arms, so it often has to pay over the odds - Germany has refused to sell it tanks, submarines and fighters. France has helped with modest upgrades of existing equipment but wouldn't sell the Rafale or submarines. That means it can get gouged by US suppliers because they know they don't really need to compete.

For decades the US was also reluctant to sell Taiwan what it asked for because the US State Department thought China could be convinced to play ball so blocked congressional notifications - "we need Beijing's help with North Korea, an important CCP meeting is coming up, it's the 37th anniversay of X in china, etc".

In short, it's a lot harder for somewhere like Taiwan to build a modern military than somewhere like Singapore, which can choose who it gets equipment from depending on the need and price.
 
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STURM

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the UK government and its diplomats routinely make grand statements about the performance of our military, even when the facts show the capabilities have been seriously degraded.
Do you expect things to change now that there's conflict in the Ukraine? Will there be the political will for increased defence spending?

no modern heavyweight AShM
You mean a Harpoon replacement for the RN? Something more contemporarywith more legs and bang?

There's also a continuing argument as to whether the Abrams is a good fit for Taiwan due to its weight
Would be interesting to find out what the Taiwanese army's thoughts are on the matter? Is it in favour of a MBT or lighter platform? Or both?

Another issue is that for the past few decades the Taiwanese were focused on.securing their air and maritime domains; little thought was given to the possibility of the PLA actually being able to land on Taiwan proper. Things have changed.

It's still however understandable that priority would be placed on preventing China from dominating Taiwan's air and maritime domain; rather than investing in the ability to eject the PLA after it has landed.

One good thing Taiwan has going for it is that there's an acute awareness amongst the population of the threat posed by China and the need for a strong military. The government does not face any major opposition or has to justify things with regards to increased defence spending.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 2 of 3: Minor clarifications

@Musashi_kenshin, I don’t understand your never ending giving of excuses for logical things that Taiwan fails to do. Time is finite. Every hour you spend arguing for Democratic Progressive Party’s political BS is an hour not spent considering how the Taiwanese could *actually* help themselves — to do war prep basics, like buying doors for their civil defence shelters, stocking 60 days of ammo for all key platforms (like their fighter jets, attack helicopters, artillery guns and tank rounds), buying enough M1A2Ts and acquiring more asymmetric capabilities. If Taiwan was serious, their factories will be building at least 6,000 blast doors a year, for 10 years. Taiwan’s building codes will need to be changed to provide a sunset period to install blast doors.

…diplomats… they're there to present the best story possible.

Perhaps in an ideal world enough high-profile Taiwanese diplomats, politicians and military officers would resign until the public accepted the need for universal, lengthy conscription and taxes to pay for more defence spending.
9. The analogy the Taiwanese diplomat gave was that Taiwan is a cat, while China is a wolf pack. But cats can fight. That’s what she said. Let’s contrast this cat talk to real American advice by John Spencer to defenders in Ukraine.

10. Let me make 4 other clarifications to debunk your point on the need to raise taxes to pay for more defence spending. The biggest problem for Taiwan is inefficient allocation of resources — the refusal to retire older platforms and shift sufficient resources to new improved platforms and CONOPS. Choosing to procure only 108 M1A2Ts is a crime, given that they need more than double that amount.

One, Taiwan under the DPP has said it wants to be able to fight. It’s not cheap and it takes some effort, to do more with less. Singapore spent less on defence from 1996 to 2015 and got more equipment than Taiwan over 20 years. Taiwan has agency in it’s own demise. The WSJ cited Taiwanese soldiers as saying they are worried about the quality of training and combat readiness. One of them said he had nothing to do during basic training and simply watched American war movies.​
Two, each year, from 1996 to the year 2015, Taiwan’s defence budget exceeded that of Singapore. Taiwan’s arms purchases have a ‘feast or famine’ approach, and it not consistent. In that 20 year period, Singapore spent less money on its army, navy and air force. Yet in that period, Singapore acquired a lot more weapons than Taiwan — with a smaller defence budget than Taiwan for a period of 20 years.​
  • Singapore inaugurated the Searcher UAV (Mar 1998) to replace the Scout RPV and acquired 20 AH-64D Apaches in 1999.
  • Singapore ONLY launched the 1st of 6 Formidable class frigates in 2004 (with help from France), started acquiring the 1st of 40 F-15SGs from the Americans in 2005 and reached a deal with the Germans for the 1st 66 Leopard 2A4s in 2006.
  • Two Swedish submarines were sold to Singapore in Nov 2005 and relaunched in Jun 2009 and Oct 2010, as Archer-class submarines. Singapore’s acquisition of AIP equipped Archer-class submarines from Sweden is less than half the cost of the Royal Malaysian Navy’s brand new Scorpene Submarines of the basic non-AIP configuration.
  • The Singapore made Terrex ICV and Light Strike Vehicle Mark II (with a rear-mounted pedestal for twin Spike LR missiles), entered service in 2010 and 2013, respectively.
3053BEBC-D6B1-4395-9032-AD264888C614.jpeg
Three, mandatory conscription in Taiwan began in 1951. By 1981, all conscripts were required to serve for two years. In 2013, it was changed to 4 months by Taiwanese choice. Conscription need not be very long (and it’s currently 22 months for Singapore), but it can’t be shorter than 6 to 9 months — for it to work.​
Four, Singapore’s approach to defence spending is premised on the belief that regardless of economic conditions, security threats do not simply disappear. Singapore’s defence procurement process is based on a rigorous evaluation system guided by the principle of seeking the most cost-effective system. Singapore aims to spend a logical amount and defence dollar is further stretched by buying second hand where possible or reducing the TOE, to get better equipment. For example, the SAF’s:​
  • approved fighter fleet size used to be 167. It’s reduced to 100 fighters, with the retirement of A4SUs and F-5Es;
  • O&M cost for AMX-13s is zero, because the whole fleet was retired in 2008 (as no longer threat relevant) — reduction of tank types, reduced the logistics burden;
  • proper planning and logistics coherence reduces O&M costs — the SAF only stocks 155mm howitzer ammo (no 105mm rounds) and 120mm mortar rounds (no 81 mm rounds); and
  • replacement for the Harpoon missile is likely to be the Blue Spear (which range will be an unknown factor, as ST makes the booster).
My comments were directed at the person in the video; Taiwan's top diplomat in the U.S; whose job it is to put Taiwan in the best possible light and to play up and remind others of the threat posed by China. Does she ''BS''? No doubt but all or most diplomats do to some extent and they also downplay or embellish things.
11. That’s the best story for Taiwan, when given air time by a major network?
(a) Beijing is the big beneficiary of degradation of global norms against use of force for territorial expansion — as the Indians found out to their dismay — the PLA clubbing to death 20 Indian Army soldiers. An America, under Team Biden, focused on war in Europe rather than deterring one in Asia, makes both Japan and Taiwan nervous.​
(b) IMO, the Taiwanese diplomat just need to say, in view of the pending war in Ukraine and that carving-out spheres of influence is on the rise, Taiwan needs more American support for weapon sales to deter aggression. Be an adult about it. I am saying that the Taiwanese diplomat is as clueless as the interviewer.​

Also I think, OPSSG, some of your comments were unreasonable. The Kang Ding corruption scandal was over a quarter of a century ago when Taiwan was still transitioning into a proper democracy, and as far as I'm aware France refused to sell Crotale. Aster wasn't an option in the 1990s, and I expect France would want a big sum of money to upgrade them now (far more than the indigenous project).
12. According to you, 25 years ago. Is it fixed, now?

13. How long do they need to unfuck themselves — to fix a mistake made 25 years ago — so as to fight the world’s largest navy, the PLA(N)? In that light, my mild comments on Taiwanese Navy corruption is more than reasonable.

14. If the PLA goes to war with the Taiwanese, all their bases will be hit with repeated missile strikes — even before the 1st Chinese solider lands — there is nothing grey zone about an amphibious landing. IMO, Taiwan is not making a real effort to build a force that can fight for 45 to 60 days — counting the days Taiwan can fight is important for credibility.
Singapore has more modern tanks, you're right. But as far as I understand it the Leopard 2 is somewhat cheaper than an Abrams. I also came across an article that suggested Singapore got a very good deal on at least some of them.

There's also a continuing argument as to whether the Abrams is a good fit for Taiwan due to its weight, albeit I haven't performed a structual analysis of Taiwan's bridges so cannot comment as to how limited its movement would be.
15. The VDV tried to seize airfields in Ukraine and they were wiped out by Ukrainian armour. The PLA’s airborne and heliborne forces will try to seize Taiwanese sea ports, airports, highway stretches (to operate helicopters from). The solution in each of the 14 Taiwanese defence sectors is armour — each of these counter-attacking armour spearheads are supposed to comprise of MBTs and IFVs, to give mutual support.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 3 of 3: Minor clarifications
(a) 108 MBTs means some of these 14 sectors are not defended with 1st line equipment. How many gaps do you want to keep open for the PLA to exploit?​
(b) Does it matter if a MBT is slightly ‘lighter’ or ‘heavier’? All MBT operators bring their own bridge systems, and have engineering support to clear obstacles or recover broken down vehicles. Proper training of this is crucial. See the video below on how the vehicle recovery training is done in a circuit by Singapore.

As for refuelling aircraft, I'm sure I read somewhere that the US had previously refused to sell them on the basis they'd be unlikely to last long and would therefore be a waste of money.
16. In the 2022 to 2032 time frame, the PLA(N) is infinitely more capable than the 38,000 sailor strong ROC Navy — but the PLA(N) are also unable to do anything to Taiwan, despite proclaiming a red line. Fortunately for Taiwan, their immediate neighbour in the 1st island chain is Japan, a very capable US ally.
(a) But what if the plan by the PLA(N) is not an invasion of the main Taiwan island, but a trade embargo (or a limited attack on a remote island)?​
Q: Can the Taiwanese Navy and Air Force secure its SLOCs?​
(b) Taiwan must be able to create trouble for the PLA(N) and the PLA(AF) a long way from its coast. It should not be a one-trick pony — refuelling aircraft, gives fighters persistence and the ability to strike at range.​

As you know, Taiwan is very limited in terms of who will sell it arms…

For decades the US was also reluctant to sell Taiwan what it asked for because the US State Department thought China could be convinced to play ball so blocked congressional notifications - "we need Beijing's help with North Korea, an important CCP meeting is coming up, it's the 37th anniversay of X in china, etc".
17. So we are playing the blame game. Taiwan has 2 Hai Lung (Sea Dragon) class submarines that was manufactured in the Netherlands. 4 were offered by the Netherlands but the Taiwanese decided to only order 2 and Taiwan Navy’s 72-year-old Guppy II-class submarines have to remain in service until the 8 indigenous submarines are built. Again, I show that Taiwanese choices have come back to hunt them.

In short, it's a lot harder for somewhere like Taiwan to build a modern military than somewhere like Singapore, which can choose who it gets equipment from depending on the need and price.
18. Is that my problem or a Taiwanese problem? Military modernization—arms procurement especially—is intimately tied to geopolitical, financial, and other factors, which subjects it to constant updates and revisions.
(a) In Taiwan’s case, failure to capitalise on opportunities, seems to reign supreme in their constant updates and revisions. Under the silly new system, Taiwanese reservists train 10 hours a day for two weeks without any rest days. During that time, they get weapons training, as well as learning how to build fortifications and set up camp.​
(b) I note that the vicious cycle of increasing hostility and tense relations started with President Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not acknowledging the 1992 Consensus. This was followed by the mainland China authorities taking retaliatory action. Further, in 2013, Taiwan decided it could take a military capability holiday and go all volunteer. The half baked plan failed. Let me say again, defending Taiwan is a Taiwanese problem.​
 
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koxinga

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I saw the Tsai visit to the reservist training camp on TV. Both me and the wife thought it was hilarious that she was decked out with a plate carrying vest and a helmet. And even her security detail and trailing reporters were wearing the same gear. I get that you need to play to the domestic audience but that looked cringe worthy at best and at worst, an attempt to play soldier, without really appreciating what is involved.

My impression is DPP understands at a policy level the need to do more to strengthen Taiwan defenses. But the implementation so far has been spotty.

For example, while I see the need for more batteries of coastal ASHMs, why did they choose Harpoon HCDS? ROC already fields comparable systems (HF series) and HCDS does not offer any quantum leap in capabilities. The Harpoon itself is well on its way to sunset simply because it is not regarded as competitive against "peer competitors" with the US moving on LRASM / NSM.

Considering their asymmetric strategy is heavily predicated on the ability to interdict Chinese forces well before they reach the island it seems a very odd choice.
 

Musashi_kenshin

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OPSSG, can you please give me a timestamp from the video about what comment on Hsiao you disagreed with so much? Having rewatched the video I can't really see that she said anything controversial. She mostly talked about grey-zone warfare - PLAAF sorties and attempts to use disinformation in the media to undermine Taiwan.

I might have missed something, but I don't see what the problem was, not least because she may have made comments you thought more relevant that NBC cut. If you watched a longer video, please provide a link with the timestamp.

If you didn't actually mean to criticise the limited comments aired in the video and was just using it as a springboard to talk about Taiwan's defence posture, fair enough. But it seemed you were criticising her for her comments.

As for other points you made - in no particular order:

1. Taiwan did try to order more Hai lung submarines and I believe it had entered into talks with the Dutch government in the early 1980s, but China put pressure on the Netherlands so the extra order was blocked. Maybe if the KMT had ordered 4 or 6 to begin with the whole order would have gone through. But it was pretty dumb of the Dutch to offer any submarines and then quail in fear when China acted angrily. I have no idea if there was a reason just 2 were ordered at the start. But it was a procurement decision from 40 years ago.

2. It isn't your problem that Taiwan is limited in where it can buy arms. However, if you're going to criticise Taiwan for not having things that Singapore has, that's not reasonable if a) Singapore benefits from more competitive tenders/sales that Taiwan doesn't and/or b) Taiwan simply isn't offered those things.

The political system between Singapore and Taiwan is different. It's easier for Singapore to have a consistant defence policy and higher spending as a percentage of GDP as it's essentially a one party state, even if it has the trappings of democracy. If the PAP was being threatened by the Workers Party, who for example campaigned for lower defence spending to pay for better social benefits and an end to conscription, that might be different.

I can understand the situation in Taiwan post-1996 as it's the same in the UK, parties fighting over which departments get money and lower taxes and defence never being a cross-party consensus as needing extra funds. So the fact the DPP passed their special defence spending bill recently was an achievement even if more needs to be done.

3. The volunteer versus conscription issue is a long-standing one, and I don't really have anything to say because you've made good arguments in the past about how it's not working properly. It's also not really relevant to the issue of arms procurement or indeed the interview that seemingly started all of this.

4. I'm not an expert on tank warfare in Taiwan and in any event wouldn't oppose a larger order of Abrams, so there's little I can say on why less than 200 have been ordered. Maybe Taiwan has its priorities in the wrong place, or perhaps it's going to put a second order in later when other things have been purchased.

5. No, the problem with the Kang Dings hasn't been fixed. However, i) they appear to have finally found an indigenous solution and given it a budget, ii) until fairly recently Taiwan didn't even have a proper indigenous naval SAM like the TC-2N and iii) it's not clear if anyone was willing to offer it something useful.

I get that you need to play to the domestic audience but that looked cringe worthy at best and at worst, an attempt to play soldier, without really appreciating what is involved.
I think it's actually because the Taiwanese public still does not see China as an immediate threat, so may still be reluctant for further defence spending/reforms. Putting people in body armour is an attempt to passively change the narrative to get the public on side.

why did they choose Harpoon HCDS? ROC already fields comparable systems (HF series) and HCDS does not offer any quantum leap in capabilities. The Harpoon itself is well on its way to sunset simply because it is not regarded as competitive against "peer competitors" with the US moving on LRASM / NSM.
I expect it's partly down to industrial capacity and not knowing if/when China will attack. It has been said by a number of commentators/experts that the end of the 2020s is a dangerous period for Taiwan. Ordering mobile batteries from the US means guaranteed extra systems in place on top of domestic production before that period.

Harpoon Block II is also still a decent missile for Taiwan's needs. It's got a data-link and GPS. Whereas LRASM is expensive and I don't know if it's ready for trailer launch. NSM is also more expensive than Harpoon, and I don't know if Kongsberg/the Norweigan government would agree to a sale to Taiwan.
 
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koxinga

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IIRC, the Kangdings were meant to be upgraded significantly, with Arabel radar among other things along with Aster 15. That was way before the indigenous solutions were ready. No one really know why it never took off. Maybe politics.

Even the planned upgrade of the Kangdings are limited. NCIST had built an AESA radar similar to the SMART-S, but I haven't seen it being mentioned in the current MLU programe.
 

Musashi_kenshin

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IIRC, the Kangdings were meant to be upgraded significantly, with Arabel radar among other things along with Aster 15. That was way before the indigenous solutions were ready. No one really know why it never took off. Maybe politics.
Shrugs

At one time it was mooted that France would take the political hit from selling Rafale to Taiwan because it losing out on international orders. That didn't happen and eventually they made international sales.

Perhaps it was felt by French governments that Aster 15 and Arabel would be too significant an upgrade for China to not retaliate against France, or the price quoted was too high.

Even the planned upgrade of the Kangdings are limited. NCIST had built an AESA radar similar to the SMART-S, but I haven't seen it being mentioned in the current MLU programe.
NCIST's radar project was designed for a new class of indigenous frigates and it's too heavy to be mounted on a Kang Ding. Indeed it was reported as being too heavy for the frigates (larger than the Kang Dings) so Taiwan advertised for international bids for an alternative radar, as well as considered a redesign. It's not clear any international sellers have made offers for a radar, so that might be why the Kang Dings aren't getting an upgrade on that front.
 
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koxinga

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IIRC, the Kangdings were meant to be upgraded significantly, with Arabel radar among other things along with Aster 15. That was way before the indigenous solutions were ready. No one really know why it never took off. Maybe politics.

Even the planned upgrade of the Kangdings are limited. NCIST had built an AESA radar similar to the SMART-S, but I haven't seen it being mentioned in the current MLU programe.


I expect it's partly down to industrial capacity and not knowing if/when China will attack. It has been said by a number of commentators/experts that the end of the 2020s is a dangerous period for Taiwan. Ordering mobile batteries from the US means guaranteed extra systems in place on top of domestic production before that period.
HCDS deliveries are slated to completed end 2028 (link). Optimistically, delivery will start only mid 2025. Not sure how that will help if China choose to attack in the next few years. Doubling the indigenous product line would surely be much faster that waiting for Boeing to restart production on a platform that they have not sold for years?

A 2025 - 2028 in-service date means this platform will serve well into the 2040s if we have a 20 - 25 year service limit. At that time, will the Harpoon be still a viable plaform?

Harpoon Block II is also still a decent missile for Taiwan's needs. It's got a data-link and GPS. Whereas LRASM is expensive and I don't know if it's ready for trailer launch. NSM is also more expensive than Harpoon, and I don't know if Kongsberg/the Norweigan government would agree to a sale to Taiwan.
NSM are being built by Raytheon in the US so I doubt export would be an issue. HF 2 with both dual homing is a significant capability and the HF3 supersonic capabilities will complement them nicely.
 

koxinga

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NCIST's radar project was designed for a new class of indigenous frigates and it's too heavy to be mounted on a Kang Ding. Indeed it was reported as being too heavy for the frigates (larger than the Kang Dings) so Taiwan advertised for international bids for an alternative radar, as well as considered a redesign. It's not clear any international sellers have made offers for a radar, so that might be why the Kang Dings aren't getting an upgrade on that front.
No, the one that is too heavy is their fixed faced PAR system for their indigenous FFG. I am referring to another one, which is a rotating PAR like SMART-S

Let me try to dig it out. Edit (here)
 

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Musashi_kenshin

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HCDS deliveries are slated to completed end 2028 (link). Optimistically, delivery will start only mid 2025. Not sure how that will help if China choose to attack in the next few years. Doubling the indigenous product line would surely be much faster that waiting for Boeing to restart production on a platform that they have not sold for years?
I think local manufacturers are now moving at capacity, and that's with funding from the special defence bill. There's going to be a limit to what they can do even if money was thrown at them.

A 2025 - 2028 in-service date means this platform will serve well into the 2040s if we have a 20 - 25 year service limit. At that time, will the Harpoon be still a viable plaform?
The missiles could get an upgrade to Harpoon II+. But to be honest if China is still seriously eyeing up Taiwan for an invasion in 2040 and its ambitions haven't been checked by the demographic hit, that will be the least of the issues facing Taiwan and the US.

NSM are being built by Raytheon in the US so I doubt export would be an issue.
I don't know what the agreement is, but it may be that Norway could block export orders. I doubt they'd give the US full export control, and they got burnt badly by China over trivial matters like Liu Xiaobo getting the nobel peace prize so would really want to avoid a sale to Taiwan. It's also still more expensive, and I don't think NMESIS was available for export or the right fit. Taiwan would still have to pay for the conversion to the coastal defence system.

No, the one that is too heavy is their fixed faced PAR system for their indigenous FFG. I am referring to another one, which is a rotating PAR like SMART-S

Let me try to dig it out. Edit (here)
Right. Could be it didn't work out and the project was cancelled.
 
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koxinga

Well-Known Member
I don't know what the agreement is, but it may be that Norway could block export orders. I doubt they'd give the US full export control, and they got burnt badly by China over trivial matters like Liu Xiaobo getting the nobel peace prize so would really want to avoid a sale to Taiwan. It's also still more expensive, and I don't think NMESIS was available for export or the right fit. Taiwan would still have to pay for the conversion to the coastal defence system.
CDS conversion for NSM already exist and Romania has ordered them in 2021. I get it that a small country might be worried about Chinese retaliation but the US? They get political flak from China for selling ANY weapons to Taiwan and NSM isn't going to attract anything more than what they are receiving.

 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
CDS conversion for NSM already exist and Romania has ordered them in 2021. I get it that a small country might be worried about Chinese retaliation but the US? They get political flak from China for selling ANY weapons to Taiwan and NSM isn't going to attract anything more than what they are receiving.

I was unaware of the Romanian purchase - thanks.

However, the Naval Strike Missile is still more expensive - a lot more expensive if you look at the DSCA notifications. Romania's deal appears to be worth $300 million for just 2 CDS and 4 mobile launch vehicles. Whereas the Harpoon sale for Taiwan was $2.37 billion for 100 CDS and 100 mobile launch vehicles. Even if you put in a 50% reduction for a large purchase, that would still make 100 NSM CDS $7.5 billion, far too much in my opinion for Taiwan.

As I said, I'm simply speculating as to whether NSM was even offered. If Norway has a theoretical veto there's every reason it would have been used regarding Taiwan. If there was no veto and the US offered it in principle, price would appear to be the deciding factor.
 

OPSSG

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Part 1 of 3: A Ray of Hope for Taiwan? Should we be hopeful?

I saw the Tsai visit to the reservist training camp on TV. Both me and the wife thought it was hilarious that she was decked out with a plate carrying vest and a helmet. And even her security detail and trailing reporters were wearing the same gear. I get that you need to play to the domestic audience but that looked cringe worthy at best and at worst, an attempt to play soldier, without really appreciating what is involved.
1. Agreed. In addition, those of us that on occasion watch Taiwanese local news, will know that DPP’s factional struggles induce various rumours of power-sharing as well as inappropriate influence paddling for business. The Su, Jia-chyuan parliament corruption scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Ordinary Taiwanese citizens may draw a different lesson, for some:
(a) Putin’s invasion means that Taiwan must mend relations with the mainland to ensure that tensions never escalate to actual war. While survey data shows that very few Taiwanese people want to reunite with the mainland now, the majority supports maintaining the status quo and only a small minority wants to push for immediate full independence.​
(b) like Tu Dong-siang (a 58-year-old woman, who grew up on Matsu that was shelled by the PLA I’m the 1970s), who said “We know how horrific war can be… That’s why I think for Ukraine, and for Taiwan, being able to live is the most important.”​
(c) like Thomas Shugart (an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security), who said the Chinese military is probably already closely studying the Ukraine war: “I’d be very surprised if there aren’t Chinese military observers, at least at the headquarters level and their attaches, observing very closely what’s happening at the tactical level with the war in Ukraine and taking their own very detailed lessons learned.”​

My impression is DPP understands at a policy level the need to do more to strengthen Taiwan defenses. But the implementation so far has been spotty.
2. Spotty would be a kind way of describing their incoherent effort at military modernisation. We know that under the DPP, Taipei has a problem with planning logically — that is why they fail to think about how to raise, train and sustain a force. Which is also why the Taiwanese army fails to buy at last the minimum amount of weapons and ammo needed for each divisional sector over time.

3. Recent news out of Taiwan has given many a glimmer of hope that they will be more consistent in increasing defence spending to build capability on an incremental basis.
(a) "What Taiwan is doing with the reservists is long overdue. I don't know how long it will take to apply this pilot program to the entire reserves and bring everybody up to that level. I think it's important that they are doing it," said Bonnie Glaser.​
(b) But if you dig down into the details in Chinese, you will realise that the Taiwanese are talking about basic physical conditioning, as part of their reserve training — that’s not even about conducting a realistic war game. They have an army that can’t fight and is unfit to fight. Their solution, 2 weeks of physical conditioning — which means they have an army that is less unfit but still can’t fight. 4 months of full time training, followed by 2 weeks a year in the reserves does not give Taiwan an army — it just arms civilians, should the PLA decide to invade. If you watch the next video below, you can see, why their reserve training is just B.S.​
(c) In contrast, the level of realism in reserve training in Singapore is just so different. In the video below, a Singapore reserve battalion (702 Guards at their 10th in-camp) supported by the navy conducts a coastal hook to reinforce an active army heliborne battalion (1st Guards) inserted by the air force helicopters on a remote island. It’s a tri-service brigade level exercise with an active enemy that has M113s. Watch the video and you can see all the different types of anti-tank missiles carried by 702 Guards and 1st Guards to fight enemy armour. The fire-fights with the enemy are long and numerous, as such, the Guardsmen call for a planned resupply of ammo by C-130Hs, with conscripts was providing wind speed for the pilots for the air drop. That’s why, it takes so long to train a real solider to perform operational tasks.​
(d) Ian Easton of Project 2049 institute added that after decades of personnel cuts, Taiwan's military now lacks manpower and requires updated and intensified training. During a Senate hearing, Mara Karlin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Capabilities, said the situation in Ukraine provides an example for Taiwan in understanding why it's crucial to build up its asymmetric capabilities. "I think the situation we're seeing in Ukraine right now is a very worthwhile case study for them about why Taiwan needs to do all it can to build asymmetric capabilities, to get its population ready so that it can be as prickly as possible should China choose to violate its sovereignty," she said.​
 
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