Taiwan Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


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Do they really believe PLA will use their 400 J-7 against them? When they have 1200+ J-20, Flankers and J-10?
American aggressor squadrons use F-16s to mimic MIG-29s, while an F-22 fighter wing usually has a T-38 red air squadron to provide aggressor training. These planes definitely don't portray modern red aircraft such as the Flanker perfectly, but they're used more so to train blue air pilots to go up against OPFOR red air tactics.

The ROCAF's F-5s can't bring much to the modern day fight, but the cost per flight hour on the F-5 isn't eye watering compared to modern day 4+ generation fighters. As such they could easily (and very cheaply) send multiple F-5 platforms out as aggressors (2vx or 4vx, especially BVR tactics when you're trying to shoot down an overwhelming force of enemy aircraft). It's much more efficient budget wise compared to having F-16s (more expensive cost per flight hour than the F-5) go up against each other, plus it gives ROCAF pilots a chance at some dissimilar air combat training. In essence you have a unit specialized on PLA tactics, while other units can focus on blue air ROCAF tactics.

The paintjob get pilots accustomed to what the enemy might look like aesthetically should they ever find themselves in the visual merge, so it trains the "shock" factor out of pilots.
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Just saw the news of US selling 400 harpoon missiles to Taiwan. Seems like a ripoff to me, such an outdated missile for so much money.

Why would Taiwan buy harpoons when they produce missiles like HF2 and HF3? How does this change the situation?

Mr T

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Just saw the news of US selling 400 harpoon missiles to Taiwan. Seems like a ripoff to me, such an outdated missile for so much money.
Block II is hardly outdated. It's still being sold to other countries, albeit sometimes they want the extended range version. The standard Block II version is sufficient for Taiwan because it will still cover most of the Taiwan Strait.

Why would Taiwan buy harpoons when they produce missiles like HF2 and HF3? How does this change the situation?
The main thing behind the sale isn't just the missiles, it's also the mobile launchers. The sale gives Taiwan 100 mobile platforms for the missiles. That will be difficult for the PLA to neutralise at the same time. 400 Harpoons, even Block II variants, are quite dangerous.

Taiwan is producing the HF-II and HF-III, but what I've seen is more them being mounting on ships plus the HF-II going on the IDF. It's not clear how they've got on with making mobile launchers as opposed to fixed weapon emplacements that are more vulnerable.


They already have mobile launchers for the HF-II


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This is looking like a giant waste of money (use the money to buy SLARAAMs instead), not to mention a logistical hassle (the operational case for maximizing the number of AShM types is a lot weaker compared to SAM diversity).

Given that there are only 4 radars, those Harpoons are going to be pretty degraded (if not useless) if those radars get knocked out.


A lot of Taiwan’s US arms purchases are about what the US wants to sell as opposed to what Taiwan needs. Basically America treats Taiwan like a piggy bank. When they need some foreign orders for important swing states, they make Taiwan cough up some ‘protection money’ and buy some random crap for US domestic political reasons on top of what Taiwan actually wants (which they will only get a tiny fraction to start with).

It’s just bribery and corruption on an epic scale.

The timing of the deal so close to the elections is no accident


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F-16V and F-35
Articles I've seen on this Taiwan are split. Some are saying ROCAF supposedly got a bargain, ~120 mil/plane, vs. 150 mil for the other countries such as Morocco. Others are comparing to the lower price of 80 mil/F-35. One issue with the 80 mil quoted F-35 price is that most of the countries buying F-35 now previously paid Lockheed the R&D cost/corruption fees involved in the original JSF proposal. As of now, we don't know the true cost of F-35 to a non partner.

I definitely agree with the idea that the primary reason why there is no sale of F-35 to Taiwan is primarily cost related. I would say a very close second is espionage. Morale of ROC armed forces for the last 20 years has been very low. The failing transition to a volunteer force has probably made this worse. There are always regular reports of arrests of officers trying to make contact with PRC. These are the ones we actually hear about, who knows what slips through? The officer corps is probably especially vulnerable to infiltration. Oftentimes officers' motivation to make a military career has some family history involved. For Taiwan, this means KMT and thus Chinese Nationalism is a big part. If they feel the Taiwanese government is moving away from this ideal, then their loyalty will move towards the PRC. Combine this with basic bribery, and who knows what could be lost?

Production schedules, possible shootdowns, angering PRC, all of this is pretty notional (to me at least). Scheduling, if there is a need, or a desire to do it, it will happen. Divert some from USAF/USN production, why not? Shootdowns, there are no flyovers by ROCAF anymore. Angering PRC, they will get angry even if you just sell hot dogs to ROC, so what? Thus it leaves the two issues above.

Reserve system
This doesn't really make sense. Why would you need to only reform training scheduling for older people? Typical window dressing. Taiwan requires comprehensive reform of the reserve system. It is totally broken. If the top brass is projecting a need for 250K personnel, you will never be able to fill this without conscription. The total population of the whole island is just around 23 million something similar to Canada, who's total military personnel is under 100,000. In Canada, they throw a lot of money to join, even for Reservists. If you need to serve full time for 2 years, good luck, it will never happen. They need to come up with some kind of system that works around going to school and maybe guaranteed x years private sector employment, these are probably the biggest impediments.