Taiwan Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Temstar

Colonel
Registered Member
The F-16V is a decent fighter, but 220 is totally inappropriate for a country the size of Taiwan. In a conflict how many are they going to get airborne? A smaller number of F-35s or a mixture of F-16V & F-35s would have been much better.

I bet when the war happens, most of these don't leave the ground and end up straight in the PLAAFs inventory.
ROCAF did want to buy F-35, the Americans told them hell no, probably for the reason you mentioned.

I watched a retired ROC general talk about what weapons to buy and he was saying the best aircraft for them to buy is actually F-35B, even if they don't intend to use it on ships. Land based F-35B's VTOL would mean they might actually be take off even if runways were crated.
 

MarKoz81

Junior Member
Registered Member
The F-16V is a decent fighter, but 220 is totally inappropriate for a country the size of Taiwan. In a conflict how many are they going to get airborne? A smaller number of F-35s or a mixture of F-16V & F-35s would have been much better.

I bet when the war happens, most of these don't leave the ground and end up straight in the PLAAFs inventory.

There is a possible explanation for that. I don't know to what extent it can be supported by publicly available evidence but it has ample historical precedent.

ROC air force is not being prepared for a defense of the island but for the role of "military in exile" under "government in exile".

Such development would allow the US to continue operations against China after the island is captured only instead of "Republic of China" it will be "Republic of Taiwan Air Force" which would most likely combine DPP loyalists as the political front and collaborating military personnel as the fighting force. Such solution has the added benefit of using non-US personnel for combat.

The current size or structure of ROCAF is not viable for the purpose of self-defense against China but not because of disproportion in fighting force but because of disproportion in geography. Taiwan has relatively few airfields over a small area while China has a lot of airfields over a large area. If we compare it to Sweden's BAS90 doctrine which introduced dispersed basing and Gripen's ability to operate from civilian infrastructure like roads the Sweden used its entire territory - which is relatively large in the context of European theater. Sweden's BAS90 was to USSR as Japan is to China.

Currently there are two good examples of small countries with large militaries which support this explanation:
  • Israel has very large air force because its neighbours (Egypt, Syria, Jordan) are nominally weaker than it militarily. It also serves as a colonial proxy for the US in the Middle East and would be re-located to US and allied bases in case of loss of territory.
  • Singapore has a large air force because its neighbours (Malaysia, Indonesia) are nominally weaker than it militarily. It also serves as a colonial proxy for the US in SEA and its air force already is partly stationed in the US. 425th squadron in Luke AFB serves as a front for 24 Singapore AF F-16s while 428th squadron in Mountain Home has 10 of Singapore's F-15SGs. Additionally there are two CH-47 squadrons and one AH-64 squadron stationed in the US, a basic flight squadron in Australia, a LIFT squadron in France and one training squadron in Thailiand. While it superficially seems like Singapore diversifying its infrastructure it clearly is primarily a US proxy network.
Traditionally the air forces being trained in America form a backbone of US military intelligence networks in the country's armed forces. It was the reason for initial distrust of Iranian air cadres immediately after the revolution and for the coup in Turkey in 2016, although there are many other examples.

ROCAF is trained in the US as part of an ongoing arrangement where 16 ROCAF F-16s are permanently stationed in Luke AF under 21st squadron USAF. It's obvious that they are training not only air combat. ROCAF also trains with US forces in the region. For obvious reasons there is no formal equivalent to Singapore's solution but I expect that it exists in practice.

The benefit of having F-16s is that they can be easily evacuated to US bases in Japan or Guam and be sustained for further combat through USAF logistical system while remaining entirely dependent on US logistically.

Such force would be unlikely to be useful against China one Taiwan is physically captured but it would provide an additional boost to Japan's defense - a Taiwanese legion of sorts - that would be entirely dependent on the US thus allowing additional control over Japan. It's a win-win-win scenario in what seems like an inevitable strategic retreat.

So PLAAF will not capture Taiwan's F-16 because they will not fight. As soon as air operations are suppressed by initial assault they will escape to friendly bases.

And for another precedent I direct you to this thread where I used Desert Storm as a measuring stick for Taiwan's operations:


Be careful with conclusions, they are easily misunderstood unless you pay attention to what I'm trying to analyze but one conclusion is obvious - the first week is decisive and throughout the first week PLAAF will be able to maintain the necessary level of activities to match Desert Storm. Problems can arise later but the decision to evacuate F-16s will occur at the very beginning of fighting, and some can be evacuated possibly even before it starts.

This is how I'm reading the 220 upgraded F-16s. We know nothing about the state of readiness, about pilot availability and most importantly about stockpiles of weapons. It is not obvious or natural in any sense that these aircraft will be used in the defense of the island. They will be used in any scenario under the threshold of full-scale war but as soon as it turns hot I expect them to immediately escape for prepared locations.

ROCAF did want to buy F-35, the Americans told them hell no, probably for the reason you mentioned.

The real reason why ROCAF will never receive F-35s is that a defector bringing an F-35 to China would be welcomed as a national hero and amply rewarded. It is simply more manageble and economical to provide Taiwan with older weapons because they are not as critical to US security. Even if Taiwan received downgraded versions the ability to examine a working F-35 would be a true "game changer". Not just in the region but globally. Overnight China would acquire information which would be of extreme value to countries such as Russia or Iran. The F-35 is not that problematic for China due to the distances involved, but in Europe or Middle East it would be much more effective.

Their small tragedy is that there is a perfect fighter solution for ROCAF on the market - a far cheaper one, in fact. That's Gripen E/Globaleye pair.

JAS 39C/D costs the same as equivalent F-16C/D Block 52+. F-16V with AESA radar is equivalent to JAS 39E/F but Gripen NG is more expensive and is only being introduced. If Taiwan wanted to buy Gripens it would buy aircraft which are inferior to the ones it's acquiring now. Gripen has notably lower cost of sustainment than any F-16 but you still have to train and maintain the pilots and those may or may not be a bottleneck. Overall in Europe we can compare Gripen and F-16 in terms of cost and effectiveness and Gripen is not significantly better. There are no hidden advantages to be found there, especially that its best weapon - MBDA Meteor - would not be exported to Taiwan.

The main advantage of Gripen is its ability to operate from dispersed airstrips including civilian roads. In fact the very concept of Gripen was designed around dispersed basing during conflict. There's one problem with that. Taiwan is not Sweden.

Taiwan has an area of 36 thousand km2. Sweden has an area of 450 thousand km2. One country can be covered by missiles from a single fighter. The other can't.

Taiwan is also an island off the coast of China which can effectively be surrounded from the air. Sweden in 1989 lies across the Baltic Sea from USSR but has Finland, Norway and Denmark securing its other flanks.

Finally Sweden is a neutral independent country. Taiwan is either "Republic of China" which is a faction in the state of civil war with People's Republic of China or it is some hypothetical entity called "Republic of Taiwan" which will effectively secede from both of those.

Their small tragedy is that the perfect solution would require to shoot Taiwan into space where it could be the first permanently inhabited asteroid and the first space nation. Short of that there are no perfect solutions.
 

Abominable

Captain
Registered Member
There is a possible explanation for that. I don't know to what extent it can be supported by publicly available evidence but it has ample historical precedent.

ROC air force is not being prepared for a defense of the island but for the role of "military in exile" under "government in exile".

Such development would allow the US to continue operations against China after the island is captured only instead of "Republic of China" it will be "Republic of Taiwan Air Force" which would most likely combine DPP loyalists as the political front and collaborating military personnel as the fighting force. Such solution has the added benefit of using non-US personnel for combat.

The current size or structure of ROCAF is not viable for the purpose of self-defense against China but not because of disproportion in fighting force but because of disproportion in geography. Taiwan has relatively few airfields over a small area while China has a lot of airfields over a large area. If we compare it to Sweden's BAS90 doctrine which introduced dispersed basing and Gripen's ability to operate from civilian infrastructure like roads the Sweden used its entire territory - which is relatively large in the context of European theater. Sweden's BAS90 was to USSR as Japan is to China.

Currently there are two good examples of small countries with large militaries which support this explanation:
  • Israel has very large air force because its neighbours (Egypt, Syria, Jordan) are nominally weaker than it militarily. It also serves as a colonial proxy for the US in the Middle East and would be re-located to US and allied bases in case of loss of territory.
  • Singapore has a large air force because its neighbours (Malaysia, Indonesia) are nominally weaker than it militarily. It also serves as a colonial proxy for the US in SEA and its air force already is partly stationed in the US. 425th squadron in Luke AFB serves as a front for 24 Singapore AF F-16s while 428th squadron in Mountain Home has 10 of Singapore's F-15SGs. Additionally there are two CH-47 squadrons and one AH-64 squadron stationed in the US, a basic flight squadron in Australia, a LIFT squadron in France and one training squadron in Thailiand. While it superficially seems like Singapore diversifying its infrastructure it clearly is primarily a US proxy network.
Traditionally the air forces being trained in America form a backbone of US military intelligence networks in the country's armed forces. It was the reason for initial distrust of Iranian air cadres immediately after the revolution and for the coup in Turkey in 2016, although there are many other examples.

ROCAF is trained in the US as part of an ongoing arrangement where 16 ROCAF F-16s are permanently stationed in Luke AF under 21st squadron USAF. It's obvious that they are training not only air combat. ROCAF also trains with US forces in the region. For obvious reasons there is no formal equivalent to Singapore's solution but I expect that it exists in practice.

The benefit of having F-16s is that they can be easily evacuated to US bases in Japan or Guam and be sustained for further combat through USAF logistical system while remaining entirely dependent on US logistically.

Such force would be unlikely to be useful against China one Taiwan is physically captured but it would provide an additional boost to Japan's defense - a Taiwanese legion of sorts - that would be entirely dependent on the US thus allowing additional control over Japan. It's a win-win-win scenario in what seems like an inevitable strategic retreat.

So PLAAF will not capture Taiwan's F-16 because they will not fight. As soon as air operations are suppressed by initial assault they will escape to friendly bases.

And for another precedent I direct you to this thread where I used Desert Storm as a measuring stick for Taiwan's operations:


Be careful with conclusions, they are easily misunderstood unless you pay attention to what I'm trying to analyze but one conclusion is obvious - the first week is decisive and throughout the first week PLAAF will be able to maintain the necessary level of activities to match Desert Storm. Problems can arise later but the decision to evacuate F-16s will occur at the very beginning of fighting, and some can be evacuated possibly even before it starts.

This is how I'm reading the 220 upgraded F-16s. We know nothing about the state of readiness, about pilot availability and most importantly about stockpiles of weapons. It is not obvious or natural in any sense that these aircraft will be used in the defense of the island. They will be used in any scenario under the threshold of full-scale war but as soon as it turns hot I expect them to immediately escape for prepared locations.



The real reason why ROCAF will never receive F-35s is that a defector bringing an F-35 to China would be welcomed as a national hero and amply rewarded. It is simply more manageble and economical to provide Taiwan with older weapons because they are not as critical to US security. Even if Taiwan received downgraded versions the ability to examine a working F-35 would be a true "game changer". Not just in the region but globally. Overnight China would acquire information which would be of extreme value to countries such as Russia or Iran. The F-35 is not that problematic for China due to the distances involved, but in Europe or Middle East it would be much more effective.



JAS 39C/D costs the same as equivalent F-16C/D Block 52+. F-16V with AESA radar is equivalent to JAS 39E/F but Gripen NG is more expensive and is only being introduced. If Taiwan wanted to buy Gripens it would buy aircraft which are inferior to the ones it's acquiring now. Gripen has notably lower cost of sustainment than any F-16 but you still have to train and maintain the pilots and those may or may not be a bottleneck. Overall in Europe we can compare Gripen and F-16 in terms of cost and effectiveness and Gripen is not significantly better. There are no hidden advantages to be found there, especially that its best weapon - MBDA Meteor - would not be exported to Taiwan.

The main advantage of Gripen is its ability to operate from dispersed airstrips including civilian roads. In fact the very concept of Gripen was designed around dispersed basing during conflict. There's one problem with that. Taiwan is not Sweden.

Taiwan has an area of 36 thousand km2. Sweden has an area of 450 thousand km2. One country can be covered by missiles from a single fighter. The other can't.

Taiwan is also an island off the coast of China which can effectively be surrounded from the air. Sweden in 1989 lies across the Baltic Sea from USSR but has Finland, Norway and Denmark securing its other flanks.

Finally Sweden is a neutral independent country. Taiwan is either "Republic of China" which is a faction in the state of civil war with People's Republic of China or it is some hypothetical entity called "Republic of Taiwan" which will effectively secede from both of those.

Their small tragedy is that the perfect solution would require to shoot Taiwan into space where it could be the first permanently inhabited asteroid and the first space nation. Short of that there are no perfect solutions.
If the plan is to evacuate an operate from a foreign base, wouldn't that make the F-16 an even worse choice given its short legged range? The closest place I can see is Japan, even with drop tanks and flying like a vicar that's a long way away. And if you get intercepted on the way...
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
Currently there are two good examples of small countries with large militaries which support this explanation:
Both examples had such air forces for as long as they could maintain them. In the Israeli case - since well before its current degree of military superiority was established.
I.e. it's outright the opposite - training squadrons or no, neither AF is designed to fly away. Especially not the Israeli one. Both countries maintain strong air forces for a simple stupid reason: they could before and still can. Bad luck to those around who can't.

While Taiwanese F-16s are indeed 90% likely to be sent elsewhere - this is clearly not the original intention of the force. Current structure of the force appeared at the times when ROCAF could outright contend for the air superiority with the whole PLAAF (which wasn't that far ago, historically speaking). Afterward, ROCAF as a structure simply develops by inertia in the same direction.
Also worth noting outright: it isn't that ROCAF is weak, nor is it somehow oversized for the size of the Island. If anything, it's most of the modern airforces that are severely understrength (and just can't absorb significant losses as a result).
For the sake of crude analogy - overall numbers of ROCAF are reasonably close to that Japan tended to base there during combat operations during WW2 (for example - low 700s on Dec. 7, 1941).

Basically - Taiwan AF development simply rolls in the more or less same trajectory it did before. Now they simply got money.
Nor US is especially guilty of making Taiwan choose that structure - though, they're probably starting
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Taiwan buys US equipment because (1)it already has it, (2)no one else will sell them such a high-profile package. Certainly not 2010s Sweden. (3)Securing US goodwill (and not securing its bad will, which is just as important) is the aim, too.
Taiwan is also an island off the coast of China which can effectively be surrounded from the air. Sweden in 1989 lies across the Baltic Sea from USSR but has Finland, Norway and Denmark securing its other flanks.
1989 was that far that it was forgotten already? ;p
Sea has a notable advantage of being part of physical geography. I.e. it actually won't go away (1940 La Manche example).
Swedish CW defensive plans always had to work under assumptions:
(1)"other countries securing flanks" doesn't work. They may, ergh, disappear. Examples od Denmark and Norway disappearing somewhere were very fresh in the memory, and direct border with Russian Empire was still in the memory of the living, too.
So sometimes reliable 100 miles ain't that bad.
(2)Air cover is necessary regardless of the territorial integrity of the country. And yes, in some cases it meant being based firmly within firing range of the opponent. Yep, that sucks, but when you have to worse - better be losing discovered planes than not having them in the first place(or having them gone on day 1). In the end, Sweden planned for survival(otherwise that's the point) - but it also planned to be too annoying to touch - the exact thing that saved them during WW2. In the end, CW SU was just not a something Sweden could stop.
(3)Going over the fence - Soviet Air Force always planned to have fighter squadrons based as close to the frontline as possible. Because, until it's out of range of field artillery and direct sound reconnaissance - it was based on where the army was, not on where enemy means are. All this austere field performance wasn't for show; for example, one of the limits on Mig-29 size was the camouflage limit (maximum size that can be effectively hidden on the ground, fast).



Same is applicable to the Swedes. And the same is not applicable to USAF fighters - they never had this concern (or, to be exact - preferred to keep shut about it - admitting that your whole basic concept of operations - airfield basing - may be flawed would've been a peacetime disaster).
This is why most modern non-USMC US equipment has quite a footprint on the ground.

JAS 39C/D costs the same as equivalent F-16C/D Block 52+. F-16V with AESA radar is equivalent to JAS 39E/F but Gripen NG is more expensive and is only being introduced. If Taiwan wanted to buy Gripens it would buy aircraft which are inferior to the ones it's acquiring now. Gripen has notably lower cost of sustainment than any F-16 but you still have to train and maintain the pilots and those may or may not be a bottleneck. Overall in Europe we can compare Gripen and F-16 in terms of cost and effectiveness and Gripen is not significantly better. There are no hidden advantages to be found there, especially that its best weapon - MBDA Meteor - would not be exported to Taiwan.
Jas-39C/D has quite clearly undercut F-16 in price on several occasions(recent example - Bulgaria); listed contract prices for E series stand somewhat lower than contemporary F-16V(Blk 70/72) prices (or, to be exact, they include more stuff for a similar contract price). And that's for a new plane.
As for the plane itself - things are pretty straightforward: Gripen(including E), as uninspiring as it is, is designed for precisely such a situation (defensive/desperate) - and checks all the primary and secondary boxes. In addition, from some perspective, it is the fighter to win the most from Meteor (i think it's fair to assume both together - as no one will sell Gripen E to ROC either).

F-16V - while it has some useful tricks (radar set tuned specifically against cruise missiles, for example) and is overall a highly advanced and a very solid modern fighter - just doesn't. Heck, being worse than F-CK-1 in some key metrics is quite something.
A good fighter to be in when you're on the right side of history and nothing depends on you personally.
 

FairAndUnbiased

Colonel
Registered Member
Both examples had such air forces for as long as they could maintain them. In the Israeli case - since well before its current degree of military superiority was established.
I.e. it's outright the opposite - training squadrons or no, neither AF is designed to fly away. Especially not the Israeli one. Both countries maintain strong air forces for a simple stupid reason: they could before and still can. Bad luck to those around who can't.

While Taiwanese F-16s are indeed 90% likely to be sent elsewhere - this is clearly not the original intention of the force. Current structure of the force appeared at the times when ROCAF could outright contend for the air superiority with the whole PLAAF (which wasn't that far ago, historically speaking). Afterward, ROCAF as a structure simply develops by inertia in the same direction.
Also worth noting outright: it isn't that ROCAF is weak, nor is it somehow oversized for the size of the Island. If anything, it's most of the modern airforces that are severely understrength (and just can't absorb significant losses as a result).
For the sake of crude analogy - overall numbers of ROCAF are reasonably close to that Japan tended to base there during combat operations during WW2 (for example - low 700s on Dec. 7, 1941).
I do not believe there existed a time where ROCAF could contest air superiority with PLAAF.

1. In the 1970's and 80's they were using F-104s and F-5s against J-7s and J-8s. F-104s were obsolete, F-5s were similar to J-7s. Except PLAAF had 1000+ J-7s at the time.

2.
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, which is contemporary with
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.

3. In 2000 PLAAF acquired Su-30 MKK. Taiwan has no response to this... and there was no looking back after this.

All of Taiwan's claimed air to air victories in the 50's and 60's are just that - claims. It doesn't mesh with their known historical performance. It's about as credible as Indian claims.

Taiwan's survival since the 70's has mostly been political and economic, not military. Taiwan lost the entire island of Hainan in 1950 in a crippling amphibious defeat where the PLA got a 1:6 kill ratio in their favor, highly unusual for amphibious operations.
 

supersnoop

Captain
Registered Member
There is a possible explanation for that. I don't know to what extent it can be supported by publicly available evidence but it has ample historical precedent.

ROC air force is not being prepared for a defense of the island but for the role of "military in exile" under "government in exile".

Such development would allow the US to continue operations against China after the island is captured only instead of "Republic of China" it will be "Republic of Taiwan Air Force" which would most likely combine DPP loyalists as the political front and collaborating military personnel as the fighting force. Such solution has the added benefit of using non-US personnel for combat.

The current size or structure of ROCAF is not viable for the purpose of self-defense against China but not because of disproportion in fighting force but because of disproportion in geography. Taiwan has relatively few airfields over a small area while China has a lot of airfields over a large area. If we compare it to Sweden's BAS90 doctrine which introduced dispersed basing and Gripen's ability to operate from civilian infrastructure like roads the Sweden used its entire territory - which is relatively large in the context of European theater. Sweden's BAS90 was to USSR as Japan is to China.

Currently there are two good examples of small countries with large militaries which support this explanation:
  • Israel has very large air force because its neighbours (Egypt, Syria, Jordan) are nominally weaker than it militarily. It also serves as a colonial proxy for the US in the Middle East and would be re-located to US and allied bases in case of loss of territory.
  • Singapore has a large air force because its neighbours (Malaysia, Indonesia) are nominally weaker than it militarily. It also serves as a colonial proxy for the US in SEA and its air force already is partly stationed in the US. 425th squadron in Luke AFB serves as a front for 24 Singapore AF F-16s while 428th squadron in Mountain Home has 10 of Singapore's F-15SGs. Additionally there are two CH-47 squadrons and one AH-64 squadron stationed in the US, a basic flight squadron in Australia, a LIFT squadron in France and one training squadron in Thailiand. While it superficially seems like Singapore diversifying its infrastructure it clearly is primarily a US proxy network.
Traditionally the air forces being trained in America form a backbone of US military intelligence networks in the country's armed forces. It was the reason for initial distrust of Iranian air cadres immediately after the revolution and for the coup in Turkey in 2016, although there are many other examples.

ROCAF is trained in the US as part of an ongoing arrangement where 16 ROCAF F-16s are permanently stationed in Luke AF under 21st squadron USAF. It's obvious that they are training not only air combat. ROCAF also trains with US forces in the region. For obvious reasons there is no formal equivalent to Singapore's solution but I expect that it exists in practice.

The benefit of having F-16s is that they can be easily evacuated to US bases in Japan or Guam and be sustained for further combat through USAF logistical system while remaining entirely dependent on US logistically.

Such force would be unlikely to be useful against China one Taiwan is physically captured but it would provide an additional boost to Japan's defense - a Taiwanese legion of sorts - that would be entirely dependent on the US thus allowing additional control over Japan. It's a win-win-win scenario in what seems like an inevitable strategic retreat.

So PLAAF will not capture Taiwan's F-16 because they will not fight. As soon as air operations are suppressed by initial assault they will escape to friendly bases.

And for another precedent I direct you to this thread where I used Desert Storm as a measuring stick for Taiwan's operations:


Be careful with conclusions, they are easily misunderstood unless you pay attention to what I'm trying to analyze but one conclusion is obvious - the first week is decisive and throughout the first week PLAAF will be able to maintain the necessary level of activities to match Desert Storm. Problems can arise later but the decision to evacuate F-16s will occur at the very beginning of fighting, and some can be evacuated possibly even before it starts.

This is how I'm reading the 220 upgraded F-16s. We know nothing about the state of readiness, about pilot availability and most importantly about stockpiles of weapons. It is not obvious or natural in any sense that these aircraft will be used in the defense of the island. They will be used in any scenario under the threshold of full-scale war but as soon as it turns hot I expect them to immediately escape for prepared locations.



The real reason why ROCAF will never receive F-35s is that a defector bringing an F-35 to China would be welcomed as a national hero and amply rewarded. It is simply more manageble and economical to provide Taiwan with older weapons because they are not as critical to US security. Even if Taiwan received downgraded versions the ability to examine a working F-35 would be a true "game changer". Not just in the region but globally. Overnight China would acquire information which would be of extreme value to countries such as Russia or Iran. The F-35 is not that problematic for China due to the distances involved, but in Europe or Middle East it would be much more effective.



JAS 39C/D costs the same as equivalent F-16C/D Block 52+. F-16V with AESA radar is equivalent to JAS 39E/F but Gripen NG is more expensive and is only being introduced. If Taiwan wanted to buy Gripens it would buy aircraft which are inferior to the ones it's acquiring now. Gripen has notably lower cost of sustainment than any F-16 but you still have to train and maintain the pilots and those may or may not be a bottleneck. Overall in Europe we can compare Gripen and F-16 in terms of cost and effectiveness and Gripen is not significantly better. There are no hidden advantages to be found there, especially that its best weapon - MBDA Meteor - would not be exported to Taiwan.

The main advantage of Gripen is its ability to operate from dispersed airstrips including civilian roads. In fact the very concept of Gripen was designed around dispersed basing during conflict. There's one problem with that. Taiwan is not Sweden.

Taiwan has an area of 36 thousand km2. Sweden has an area of 450 thousand km2. One country can be covered by missiles from a single fighter. The other can't.

Taiwan is also an island off the coast of China which can effectively be surrounded from the air. Sweden in 1989 lies across the Baltic Sea from USSR but has Finland, Norway and Denmark securing its other flanks.

Finally Sweden is a neutral independent country. Taiwan is either "Republic of China" which is a faction in the state of civil war with People's Republic of China or it is some hypothetical entity called "Republic of Taiwan" which will effectively secede from both of those.

Their small tragedy is that the perfect solution would require to shoot Taiwan into space where it could be the first permanently inhabited asteroid and the first space nation. Short of that there are no perfect solutions.
Impressed by your output on the forum, you can almost put a book together, lol.

The point you make about the ROCAF running away doesn't really make logical sense. You contradict yourself at the end, Taiwan can be surrounded by hostile forces. In a conflict scenario, there would be Land and Sea based Air Defense, Carrier air wings, Land based aircraft all available to intercept and likely in place to do so. Not to mention ballistic missiles and rocket artillery when still on the ground, a danger especially since most air bases are on the west side of island.

Are you saying they will leave once conflict is imminent? Then that means there will be no defense mounted and all the tough talk by the Americans would be pretty embarrassing. On the positive side, it would save a lot of lives for all sides.

How do you expect to escape if PLAAF has total air superiority? If you were taking off from the west side (where most AFB are) you'd be contending with Land based SAMs, Naval SAMs, PLAAF. North and East you'd likely be dealing with PLAN CV and other ADS.

F-35 doesn't require anything like a formal defection like in the Cold War, but that definitely would be something the US has considered. Most reports have espionage as the #1 reason why ROCAF does not have any F-35. Even without defection, you have access to spare parts, photos of subsystems, maintenance software, manuals, etc. etc. ROCAF has a morale problem already, PRC has deep pockets, and many ROC armed forces members are anti independence, a triple threat.

Actually, the perfect solution would be to drop pretenses and collaborate with the mainland to define a clear set of rules for peaceful coexistence. The news makes it sound so impossible, but the reality is that neither side has fired on each other in a long time (contrast to SK/NK which still happens). 30 years ago, no one would imagine that there would be direct flights from Taiwan to mainland, but now they are dozens a day. Look past the media and politician's nonsense talk about "freedom and democracy" and we know the real issue getting in the way can be spelled out with 3 letters.
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
F-35 doesn't require anything like a formal defection like in the Cold War
Formal defection of a stealth jet is a nightmare scenario.
You can replace compromised FoF, datalinks, and even radars(Soviet Union did).
You can't replace basic shape of the aircraft: much of the stealthiness of a stealth aircraft depends on the opponent not knowing what exactly to look for.
The moment he gets your true and precise discrete signature - you're screwed, - it becomes a matter of script update for your opponent, and much of your stealth is gone. Not only yours, but the whole list of your clients is screwed, too. They'll be most happy about that.

This is also the reason why US are so adamant on not letting one country to have S-400 and F-35 together. I.e. it is for sure a political pressuring/blackmailing/strong-handing, but there actually are serious practical reasons behind that.
 

supersnoop

Captain
Registered Member
I do not believe there existed a time where ROCAF could contest air superiority with PLAAF.

1. In the 1970's and 80's they were using F-104s and F-5s against J-7s and J-8s. F-104s were obsolete, F-5s were similar to J-7s. Except PLAAF had 1000+ J-7s at the time.

2.
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, which is contemporary with
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.

3. In 2000 PLAAF acquired Su-30 MKK. Taiwan has no response to this... and there was no looking back after this.

All of Taiwan's claimed air to air victories in the 50's and 60's are just that - claims. It doesn't mesh with their known historical performance. It's about as credible as Indian claims.

Taiwan's survival since the 70's has mostly been political and economic, not military. Taiwan lost the entire island of Hainan in 1950 in a crippling amphibious defeat where the PLA got a 1:6 kill ratio in their favor, highly unusual for amphibious operations.
Beyond those early times (before the 80's), ROCAF was definitely superior in the 90's to the early 2000's.

Original Su-27SK did not have any R-77 capability. F-16 always had AIM-120 capability, but inventory was held back until the R-77 was introduced with Su-30. Only later on in 2000's Su-27 was upgraded to carry R-77.

In addition, ROCAF Mirage-2000 always had active MICA (and MICA IR as well).

F-CK-1 was more capable than any domestic fighter China could produce (not counting locally assembled Su-27 which were basically CKD Lego Kits. True J-11 would not come until later in 2000's). It was also equipped with TC-2 as early as 90's.

I agree that Su-30 was pretty much the point where it started going downhill without a doubt.
 

supersnoop

Captain
Registered Member
Formal defection of a stealth jet is a nightmare scenario.
You can replace compromised FoF, datalinks, and even radars(Soviet Union did).
You can't replace basic shape of the aircraft: much of the stealthiness of a stealth aircraft depends on the opponent not knowing what exactly to look for.
The moment he gets your true and precise discrete signature - you're screwed, - it becomes a matter of script update for your opponent, and much of your stealth is gone. Not only yours, but the whole list of your clients is screwed, too. They'll be most happy about that.

This is also the reason why US are so adamant on not letting one country to have S-400 and F-35 together. I.e. it is for sure a political pressuring/blackmailing/strong-handing, but there actually are serious practical reasons behind that.
What I meant was, defection is the worst case scenario, but it can be bad enough even without it.
 

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