PLAN Strategy in the Taiwan Strait


FairAndUnbiased

Junior Member
Registered Member
I always thought MLRS with range to hit the island from the mainland would be the "end". I never took those MLRS firing from cargo ships too seriously as that would still be too vulnerable.

BM deployed by PLA forces was always meant to counter the "high end" ROCAF assets. BM is not a cheap weapon, so it is "like for like".

So the purpose of the "Porcupine strategy" of ROC became distributing lower end but high firepower assets spread throughout the theatre to make it expensive to knockout. Basically Truck mobile AShM and Tuo Chiang boats.

Many people think drones are the way to go, but drones are still very expensive and vulnerable to SHORAD such as Stingers and AA cannons.

MLRS still has the vulnerability, but should come at a much lower price, while still providing good accuracy when equipped with Beidou guidance. So what do you really do to counter this threat?
Truck mounted ASM and missile boats are nothing without cooperative engagement capability due to the radar horizon. They can't see more than 30 km or so to the horizon and for truck mounted ASM, if placed on a mountain inland, will have to deal with short range radar clutter from trees/environment that ASMs weren't designed for, have to deal with maneuver around obstacles, and reduce the range by being further inland.

Missile boats have no air defense, they're a sitting duck for planes.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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Truck mounted ASM and missile boats are nothing without cooperative engagement capability due to the radar horizon. They can't see more than 30 km or so to the horizon and for truck mounted ASM, if placed on a mountain inland, will have to deal with short range radar clutter from trees/environment that ASMs weren't designed for, have to deal with maneuver around obstacles, and reduce the range by being further inland.

Missile boats have no air defense, they're a sitting duck for planes.

Against moving targets at long range, you are correct, ashms require midcourse guidance and a kill chain to support course correction.

However, you can also launch ashms to a general area if you know where enemy ships are (e.g. if you receive communications that there are enemy amphibious assault ships in an area a few dozen kms off a beach), without midcourse guidance or early warning, for the missiles themselves active their onboard terminal guidance to search for targets once they arrive to the predesignated area.

Of course, that sort of use would reduce the effectiveness of your ashms (even leaving aside the naval escorts and air CAP) that would be protecting the amphibious ships -- however, I think it is incorrect to say that missile boats and truck mounted ashms are "nothing" simply due to lack of offboard sensors.
 

supersnoop

Junior Member
Registered Member
Tuo Chiang will be refitted with HC-2 (aka TC-2N) SAM with 30km range.

We had this discussion in the Taiwan news thread after the Harpoon or M109 was purchased, so some of the points @Bltizo mentioned, I had mentioned myself, pointing out the new HF-2 has the additional IR seeker added probably for this option.

More and more I think the development of this long range MLRS is the greatest threat to the "Overall Defense Concept".
Judging by the purchase of 100 Harpoon launch trucks with 400 missiles (so a full load for each truck), strictly by the numbers, it seems that they are not expected to survive once they launch...

How many AShM can realistically be launched? How many can get through anti missile defenses? How strong is PLAN/PLAAF EW capability?
 

zxy_bc

New Member
Registered Member
Tuo Chiang will be refitted with HC-2 (aka TC-2N) SAM with 30km range.

We had this discussion in the Taiwan news thread after the Harpoon or M109 was purchased, so some of the points @Bltizo mentioned, I had mentioned myself, pointing out the new HF-2 has the additional IR seeker added probably for this option.

More and more I think the development of this long range MLRS is the greatest threat to the "Overall Defense Concept".
Judging by the purchase of 100 Harpoon launch trucks with 400 missiles (so a full load for each truck), strictly by the numbers, it seems that they are not expected to survive once they launch...

How many AShM can realistically be launched? How many can get through anti missile defenses? How strong is PLAN/PLAAF EW capability?
How many can be launched really depends on the situation and ROC readiness at the time. And yes, realistically these hardwares would never survive after their first strike. (firing positions of these weapons are incredibly predictable as they have limited number of viable positions to fire them due to predictable landing spots) How many can get through anti missile defences? Expect less than half since they are only harpoons instead of NSMs or other more advanced ASMs. PLAN/PLAAF EW capacity is unknown but equipment-wise they do not lag behind the US too much. And PLAAF have already conducted years of ELINT activities using GaoXin series of EW aircrafts, so they do not lack data either.
 

drowingfish

Junior Member
Registered Member
Against moving targets at long range, you are correct, ashms require midcourse guidance and a kill chain to support course correction.

However, you can also launch ashms to a general area if you know where enemy ships are (e.g. if you receive communications that there are enemy amphibious assault ships in an area a few dozen kms off a beach), without midcourse guidance or early warning, for the missiles themselves active their onboard terminal guidance to search for targets once they arrive to the predesignated area.

Of course, that sort of use would reduce the effectiveness of your ashms (even leaving aside the naval escorts and air CAP) that would be protecting the amphibious ships -- however, I think it is incorrect to say that missile boats and truck mounted ashms are "nothing" simply due to lack of offboard sensors.
you are correct, and the accidental launch of HF2 proves that point, as much as people mocks that episode.

land based anti-ship capability targeting landing crafts is definitely the right way to go for Taiwan. It is PLA's centre of gravity, and most vulnerable point.
 

caohailiang

Junior Member
Registered Member
The best strategy to move troops/IFV across the strait, is not by large ships like 071 or 075, or even 072, but rather with smaller landing craft such as 079 (800 tonnes), or even 067 (130 tonnes). If you mount a pair of powerful engines and make it cruise at 25 knots, and attach a towed decoy to it, it would be impractical to use stand-off weapon (AGM84K or AGM158C) to strike them. Only plausible way is really to completely dominate the air space and use ammunition like SDB II for direct attack at close range.

Anyone feels above thinking is not reasonable?
 

Temstar

Captain
Registered Member
The best strategy to move troops/IFV across the strait, is not by large ships like 071 or 075, or even 072, but rather with smaller landing craft such as 079 (800 tonnes), or even 067 (130 tonnes). If you mount a pair of powerful engines and make it cruise at 25 knots, and attach a towed decoy to it, it would be impractical to use stand-off weapon (AGM84K or AGM158C) to strike them. Only plausible way is really to completely dominate the air space and use ammunition like SDB II for direct attack at close range.

Anyone feels above thinking is not reasonable?
Could you mount a 8 cell HQ-10 launcher and associated FCS on a 800 ton ship like the 079 for some air defence?

There are 20 of those currently available from the 056 transfer to CCS.
 

caohailiang

Junior Member
Registered Member
Could you mount a 8 cell HQ-10 launcher and associated FCS on a 800 ton ship like the 079 for some air defence?

There are 20 of those currently available from the 056 transfer to CCS.
why would a 100t landing craft need air defense of its own? PLAN has more than enough escort ships to provide fleet defense along that transport route
 

Temstar

Captain
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Original Japanese news:
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Same news in english:
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On 14th of this month PLAN sent two 071 and circled around to the east side of Taiwan and conducted simulated landing operations against Hualian which hosts major ROCAF and ROCN bases.

I'm of the opinion that this sort of thing is exactly what 071 and 075 should be used for. They shouldn't be part of the landing force crossing the strait but rather should circle around to the lightly defended rear area that is Taiwan's eastern seaboard and deploy vertically and quickly knock out key locations like this.

By running this sort of exercise when the time comes ROC will be faced with the decision of either doing what they are doing now and keep the vast majority of their land forces on the west side and leave their rear area lightly defended and vulnerable to this sort of attack, or alternatively transfer some of their forces to the east side and leave their western defence weaker than they already are.
 
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supersnoop

Junior Member
Registered Member
The best strategy to move troops/IFV across the strait, is not by large ships like 071 or 075, or even 072, but rather with smaller landing craft such as 079 (800 tonnes), or even 067 (130 tonnes). If you mount a pair of powerful engines and make it cruise at 25 knots, and attach a towed decoy to it, it would be impractical to use stand-off weapon (AGM84K or AGM158C) to strike them. Only plausible way is really to completely dominate the air space and use ammunition like SDB II for direct attack at close range.

Anyone feels above thinking is not reasonable?

I do wonder how feasible mass decoys are. What if a unmanned fishing ship had a decoy attached? I feel this is more realistic than the idea of mass J-6 drone conversion.
 

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