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Taiwan military news and discussion part II

This is a discussion on Taiwan military news and discussion part II within the World Armed Forces forums, part of the World Strategic Defence Area category; It's probably not fair to compare with Sweden, since their navy is primarily small corvettes and submarines. They can allocate ...

  1. #91
    adeptitus is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    It's probably not fair to compare with Sweden, since their navy is primarily small corvettes and submarines. They can allocate a much higher % of the naval budget to their subs. The Dutch and Taiwan cannot do that, because they have to feed a larger surface fleet.

    Perhaps we could also discuss what the future ROCN should look like. I don't think the Swedish model works for them, the environment is too different.

  2. #92
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Oh I don't know Adeptitus, news that Taiwan was investing in a fleet of Ice Breakers, would certainly get the Beijing analysts into a real tizzy
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  3. #93
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by FuManChu View Post
    That's the whole point - Taiwan has no capacity to make those items. It's why it needs US help.
    Neither did China at one time, but by hook or crook and now they have the capability.

    It only has 80% of the design specs - the missing 20% is what it cannot make up by itself.
    The sonar, the control systems, the engine. You can always claim dual use for the engine, heck that is what China did, they're using licensed German engines on their subs despite the embargo.

    The sonar and the control systems---wait, Taiwan is an electronics powerhouse. The talent pool is already there, so is the manufacturing capability. All you need is the hook and the crook plus the gumption and the balls to put it all together. The mainland managed to do it with an electronics industrial base that is only a fraction as good as Taiwan's.

    They were reliant on outside help building up their industries - they didn't make it happen by themselves. Without external help Taiwan can't do it.
    Not really an excuse considering the mainland attitude, if there's an obstacle, climb over it.

    It's the other way around. The US estimated that it would push up the cost by 30-40%. Taiwanese industry might benefit, but the budget wouldn't be big enough to deal with it even if you got rid of the airforce.
    This is the part that is most disturbing about Taiwan. Freedom ain't cheap. You have to spend for it. Its not going to be earned with shortcuts, excuses, cheating, denial, someone's else money or with someone's else lives.

    If you are already small, outnumbered, and now losing even your qualitative edge, all you have left is your determination. But even the attitude and motivation factors are deeply in the side of the mainland.

  4. #94
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by crobato View Post
    Not really an excuse considering the mainland attitude, if there's an obstacle, climb over it.

    This is the part that is most disturbing about Taiwan. Freedom ain't cheap. You have to spend for it. Its not going to be earned with shortcuts, excuses, cheating, denial, someone's else money or with someone's else lives.

    If you are already small, outnumbered, and now losing even your qualitative edge, all you have left is your determination. But even the attitude and motivation factors are deeply in the side of the mainland.
    And that seems to be the chief characteristic of Taiwan's strategic and military situation - lack of determination, even apathy it almost seems. It was abundantly clear even a decade ago that much of Taiwan's kit needed either serious upgrading or outright replacement, and in sufficient quantity. Instead, Parliament dithered for several years, and even what has finally been approved is only a fraction of what is needed, and it will take a very long time to get much of that.

    No, offhand I'm detecting something of a whiff of France circa early 1940, before Fall Gelb, and the ancient Proverb that a House divided against Itself cannot stand. Regardless of whether the ROC Armed Forces get what they need and in good time, if this lethargy continues, all the new kit going may not make much difference in the end if Taiwanese will, as it stands right now, is put to the test.

  5. #95
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by crobato View Post
    Neither did China at one time, but by hook or crook and now they have the capability.
    Come on, China did not have to do everything itself. It got Russian assistance quite early on.

    You can always claim dual use for the engine, heck that is what China did, they're using licensed German engines on their subs despite the embargo.
    I'm sure if it were that easy Taiwan would have been able to do that. All the relevant European countries have refused time and time again to supply Taiwan with submarines or the means to make them. If they really mean that then they're not going to be fooled by claims of dual-use.

    The sonar and the control systems---wait, Taiwan is an electronics powerhouse. The talent pool is already there, so is the manufacturing capability.
    Is it that easy? Does making computer chips for PCs enable you to make modern sonar? I'm not sure about that.

    This is the part that is most disturbing about Taiwan. Freedom ain't cheap. You have to spend for it.
    Indeed, but democracy means that people who don't care about defence get as much of a say as those that do. There is always going to be a limit to the size of the cake to be chopped up. Taiwan isn't North Korea or China, where military needs are prioritised even if the money really should go somewhere else.

    You do have to pay for freedom, but it's worthless if democracy suffers as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
    It was abundantly clear even a decade ago that much of Taiwan's kit needed either serious upgrading or outright replacement, and in sufficient quantity. Instead, Parliament dithered for several years, and even what has finally been approved is only a fraction of what is needed, and it will take a very long time to get much of that.
    A country can't just make whatever it needs. Taiwan couldn't produce something like the P-3C Orion by itself - even China doesn't have something like that after God knows how long of trying. It has spent a very long time trying to develop anti-missile systems like the Sky Bow family - nothing more it could have done there. As for submarines, again I would suggest it isn't that easy otherwise Taiwan would have done it whilst the KMT were still in charge.

    No, offhand I'm detecting something of a whiff of France circa early 1940
    I very much disagree. Just because Taiwanese don't want to prioritise defence spending above everything else doesn't mean they don't care about their futures. If you look at opinion polls in Taiwan you won't see much support for surrendering to China.

    However, I will say this. If Taiwan's defence needs are blocked by political squabbling over the coming years it will make things a lot more difficult. That won't mean an inevitable invasion/surrender/whatever, but it will reduce its negotiating position. The budget for 2009 will probably show whether things can improve on that front or not.
    Last edited by FuManChu; 12-05-2007 at 02:28 PM.
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  6. #96
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by FuManChu View Post
    Come on, China did not have to do everything itself. It got Russian assistance quite early on.
    Russian assistance in developing and making the Hans? You got to be kidding. They were at opposing sides at that time.

    Building Mings and Romeos are something that a WWII level of ship industry can do, since they're based on the German Type XXI.

    I'm sure if it were that easy Taiwan would have been able to do that. All the relevant European countries have refused time and time again to supply Taiwan with submarines or the means to make them. If they really mean that then they're not going to be fooled by claims of dual-use.
    It only comes down to it, more excuses, more whine, no action. Believe me, the Taiwan ship industry is far more advanced than the Chinese ship industry at the time it first started to make its first Romeo or even the first Han.

    Is it that easy? Does making computer chips for PCs enable you to make modern sonar? I'm not sure about that.
    Yes. Sonar principles are no "harder" than anything dealing with the manufacture of acoustics, making sound, detecting sound, and so on, as well as telecommunications, digital optoelectronics and radar (EMF applications).

    You do have to pay for freedom, but it's worthless if democracy suffers as a result.
    Irrelevant. Building submarines locally isn't going to take your democracy away.

    What hurts your democracy more if your leaders have criminal connections and yet allowed to get away with it.


    A country can't just make whatever it needs. Taiwan couldn't produce something like the P-3C Orion by itself - even China doesn't have something like that after God knows how long of trying.
    Actually China has already something like that. You can if you have the will power.

    It has spent a very long time trying to develop anti-missile systems like the Sky Bow family - nothing more it could have done there. As for submarines, again I would suggest it isn't that easy otherwise Taiwan would have done it whilst the KMT were still in charge.
    Nothing is easy. If you want to develop, you have to pay and suffer for it. Not make excuses for it, not always looking for the easy way out. You also don't seem to understand another important point---these actions are also symbolic of the nation's character, determination and will power. Nothing can be more of a telling message to the mainland.

    If by sheer will power alone, China would already have won.

    I very much disagree. Just because Taiwanese don't want to prioritise defence spending above everything else doesn't mean they don't care about their futures. If you look at opinion polls in Taiwan you won't see much support for surrendering to China.
    The polls show they want the status quo most of all. Which is actually pretty okay for China at the moment too.

  7. #97
    adeptitus is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    When I was a child, Taiwan had better shipbuilding capability and exported more cars than S. Korea. Today the idea that Taiwan might export more cars than S. Korea is unthinkable.

    About 2 months ago I was in Beijing with my GF, and we rode the subway system around town. The subway cars looked worn/well used, its construction quality rough, and the lightning was exposed fluorescent light tubes. When I say exposed, I mean you could reach up and unscrew them (no covers).

    In comparison, Taipei's MRT cars were much cleaner and modern. I discussed this with my GF and she pointed to a manufacture tag on the wall. Taiwan had imported its MRT system by paying billions of dollars. China's MRT cars are made domestically.

    I'm not saying that China's approach is always more successful, I mean for all I know the train's engine might've been licensed or imported from Europe. But I will say that there is a stronger "will" to copy and produce domestically in China than Taiwan.

    I understand that Taiwan cannot afford to develop many advanced systems by itself, but it's possible to license or purchase the technology. We've seen the products -- AT-3 trainer, IDF/F-CK fighter, etc. But I'm frustrated that the ROC government is turning them into orphaned products, almost as if they want to kill them off and just import from abroad. Compare the budget allocated to purchase F-16's, versus amount allocated for IDF upgrades. Ugh.

    And to those who thinks the Europeans will turn down military related technology transfers to Taiwan, I'd note that the IDF C/D's avionics upgrade was contracted to BAe Systems.

  8. #98
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Let me put it this way.

    Of all the potential weapons systems, the one that is most capable, with the highest probability of success of literally torpedoing a PLA invasion, is a fleet of modern, very quiet diesel subs. Not F-16s, not AMRAAMs, not cruise missiles, not Apaches, not PACs. But subs. Subs are the best giant killers around---literally. This is why it should be regarded as the highest priority, to the point that "I cannot make it" is not an acceptable excuse. Look at Iran, they're at least trying to do one, even if its a mini sub. I doubt that India's ship building industry is better than Taiwan, but at least they're seriously working in getting their ATV out.

  9. #99
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by crobato View Post
    Russian assistance in developing and making the Hans?
    Where did we talk about the Hans? I thought we were on conventionally-powered submarines.

    It only comes down to it, more excuses, more whine, no action.
    Actually the excuses seem to be coming from you. The embargo on China seems to be more political/human-rights orientated than a concern over military balance, whereas restrictions on Taiwan are more to do with military capability.

    Unless you know for a fact that the Germans et al would sell what Taiwan cannot make for itself behind closed doors, don't assert they would do. Countries have double-standards - it sucks but that's the truth.

    Building submarines locally isn't going to take your democracy away.
    Pushing for a big defence budget at the cost of other sectors would be.

    What hurts your democracy more if your leaders have criminal connections and yet allowed to get away with it.
    Every Taiwanese politician accused of corruption on any serious basis gets investigated. The KMT leader is on trial, the President will be charged when he leaves office, etc. Please don't go off-topic - politics is banned on the thread.

    Actually China has already something like that.
    "Something like"? But not nearly as good as.

    If by sheer will power alone, China would already have won.
    Sure, it's easy to have "sheer willpower" when you're an autocratic one-party Police state. That's not the case with Taiwan.

    The polls show they want the status quo most of all.
    Not anymore - it can't last forever. Support for unification has been steadily dropping, such that it's now a small minority. Besides, the status quo is that Taiwan is independent.

    Again, let's focus on the military topic, please.
    Last edited by FuManChu; 12-06-2007 at 02:37 AM.
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  10. #100
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by adeptitus
    When I was a child, Taiwan had better shipbuilding capability and exported more cars than S. Korea.
    That is down to South Korea realising its potential. It has a population much larger than Taiwan's - you can't stop another country overtaking you if you're growing yourself.

    But I will say that there is a stronger "will" to copy and produce domestically in China than Taiwan.
    So essentially Taiwan may have to decide to start "cheating" by copying foreign technology. I suppose the fear is that because of its delicate status it would be more vulnerable to retaliatory measures than a country like China.

    But I'm frustrated that the ROC government is turning them into orphaned products, almost as if they want to kill them off and just import from abroad. Compare the budget allocated to purchase F-16's, versus amount allocated for IDF upgrades.
    There is still a plan to upgrade a number of IDFs. The problem is that the capability provided is relatively expensive - in the long-run the F-16 purchase would be more economical. The ROCAF only wants the fleet upgraded if the F-16 purchase is postponed for the foreseeable future. They understand more than anything what they need, and they've decided the IDF upgrade isn't enough. Remember, limited size of the cake - you can't get everything. What's going to suffer to make up for it - schools, hospitals, social services?

    And to those who thinks the Europeans will turn down military related technology transfers to Taiwan, I'd note that the IDF C/D's avionics upgrade was contracted to BAe Systems.
    Oh, I know Taiwan can get foreign stuff sometimes. The question is what they can get out of what they ask for - I don't know the answer to that.
    Last edited by FuManChu; 12-06-2007 at 02:40 AM.
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  11. #101
    AmiGanguli is offline Member
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
    And that seems to be the chief characteristic of Taiwan's strategic and military situation - lack of determination, even apathy it almost seems. It was abundantly clear even a decade ago that much of Taiwan's kit needed either serious upgrading or outright replacement, and in sufficient quantity. Instead, Parliament dithered for several years, and even what has finally been approved is only a fraction of what is needed, and it will take a very long time to get much of that.
    You must realize that Taiwan simply cannot win an arms race. They're walking a fine line between maintaining a reasonable deterrent and keeping cross-straight relations on track.

    If they attempt a massive build up then:
    1) the mainland can match Taiwan's spending 10 to 1,
    2) Taiwan's business interests in the PRC would be damaged.

    The second factor is probably more important than the first, believe it or not. The cheap goods that used to be made in Taiwan are increasingly being made by Taiwanese-owned factories on the mainland ("transplants"). The suburbs of Shanghai are full of wealthy Taiwanese businessmen. And wealthy businesspeople have a lot of political clout. They like the status quo and exert influence to make sure it isn't upset by increased tensions.

    ... Ami.

  12. #102
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Gentelemen..Let's remained focused on the subject of this thread and not politics..Discuss the military of the ROC..not politics.

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  13. #103
    Jon K is offline New Member
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by AmiGanguli View Post
    You must realize that Taiwan simply cannot win an arms race. They're walking a fine line between maintaining a reasonable deterrent and keeping cross-straight relations on track.
    Actually that seems to be problem for ROC military, rather than building a deterrent and defense force against invasion threat, it seems that they're rather maintaining forces for arms race. Astounding number of surface combatants, large fighter force, quite large army, all this tells that it seems that ROC military leadership is stuck into age when ROC could reasonably expect to outmatch PRC quality hardware.

    IMHO, the more reasonable route would be to build an asymmetric force (no, I'm not talking about Kalashikov's and IED's) to counter PRC threat and to form a deterrence. This would be harder to match for PRC as well. Subs, SSM's, robust air defense system (whether based in SAM's or interceptors), an army capable of throwing landing back to the sea as well as countering special forces threat. Additionally, ROC is years ahead of PRC in various electronics fields and has an extremely well educated population. These factors are strength for a defense using various high-tech means instead of mass.

    As for my final comment on ROC subs, ROC is a nation with fine engineers, good scientists and well established machine industry.
    They also have foreign sonars and torpedoes to study for. If they really wanted to, they could build subs. It's not an unreasonable commitment for their defense budget. Sweden has maintained sub industry for decades with smaller budget.

  14. #104
    crobato's Avatar
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by FuManChu View Post
    Where did we talk about the Hans? I thought we were on conventionally-powered submarines.
    So what really is the difference? China's first truly indigenous sub went all the way to a streamlined nuclear sub. And they did that without any Soviet help or from anyone else. And that's from a ship building industry still coping with the effects of the Cultural Revolution. So tell me, is making a conventional submarine no less harder, with a ship industry now at least 4 decades in advance over the ship industry at that time that built the Han? And this is for a sub, where 90% of the plan is accounted for (according to Bryan C in the CDF), not 80%. Not hard to figure out the remaining 10%---like the Zvaardis, Japan's Harushio is another Barbel class descendant.

    As for engines and sonars, you can always claim dual use like China, and maintain sources as being classified, or use plausible deniability.

    I just don't see the excuses why Taiwan cannot build a sub on its own.

  15. #105
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    Re: Taiwan military news and discussion part II

    Quote Originally Posted by crobato View Post
    So what really is the difference? China's first truly indigenous sub went all the way to a streamlined nuclear sub. And they did that without any Soviet help or from anyone else. And that's from a ship building industry still coping with the effects of the Cultural Revolution. So tell me, is making a conventional submarine no less harder, with a ship industry now at least 4 decades in advance over the ship industry at that time that built the Han? And this is for a sub, where 90% of the plan is accounted for (according to Bryan C in the CDF), not 80%. Not hard to figure out the remaining 10%---like the Zvaardis, Japan's Harushio is another Barbel class descendant.

    As for engines and sonars, you can always claim dual use like China, and maintain sources as being classified, or use plausible deniability.

    I just don't see the excuses why Taiwan cannot build a sub on its own.
    It's the technical aspects of integrating all the equipment together that is the issue. There are only a handful of nations that have expertise in sub building. For nations that wish to design and build their own subs from scratch without that expertise means that they have to learn all the lessons that experienced sub makers already know. Even with major assistance, things don't work out the way they should. The Australian Collins class submarines are perhaps the best example; the Aussies built and designed their own submarines, with major technical assistance from Sweden, but the end product, although on paper, capable and advanced, was in reality a mess in terms of systems integration, bugs, delays and cost overruns. The end result was subs that were not combat ready and potentially hazardous to their crews until a major refit was undertaken immediately after introduction to service. The Aussies are just throwing money at the problems with the subs to make problems go away.

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