Taiwan Military News Thread


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FuManChu

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Just something to get this started. Old news, but slightly updated.

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Taiwan's air force has completed a maiden flight of its upgraded fighter jet, media reported yesterday, as part of the island's efforts to boost defense capabilities against China.

A prototype of the fighter, which has increased range and firepower, completed a test flight and landed successfully at the central Chingchuankang airbase on Wednesday, the Liberty Times reported.

The fighter is an improved version of the Ching-Kuo Indigenous Defence Fighter and is currently being developed by the government-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (漢翔航空).

The newspaper carried a photo of the sleek plane, which has two additional fuel tanks and double the number of air-to-air missiles on the current IDF, landing at the airbase.

Costing the military NT$7.0 billion (US$212.77 million), the fighter is being developed in a three-part phase launched in 2001. Service entry is scheduled for 2010 if development is successful and approved.

The prototype has four air-to-air missiles, an improved anti-radiation missile and a "Wan Chien" (Ten Thousand Swords) cluster bomb, according to the Jane's Defence Weekly.

It will also have upgraded mission computers, electronic warfare systems, an advanced "identification friend or foe" system and improved terrain-following and radar systems, it said.

Taiwan produced 130 IDFs during the 1980s to replace Taiwan's ageing Lockheed F-104s and Northrop F-5s.
 

FuManChu

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The last two of the four Kidd-class destroyers Taiwan has bought from the U.S. will arrive in Taiwan on Wednesday and join the Taiwan Navy next week, a newspaper said yesterday.

The two destroyers, coded Tsoying and Makung, will sail into the Su'ao Naval Base on Wednesday. President Chen Shui-bian will preside over a commissioning ceremony for the two vessels on November 1st, the Apple Daily reported. The destroyers are part of a NT$610 billion arms sale approved in 2001 by U.S. President George Bush.
Finally they're been putting to good use, eh Popeye? :)
 

bd popeye

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Finally they're been putting to good use, eh Popeye? :)
For the sake of the ROCN I hope they can afford to operate them. To me the Kidd class ,while very capable ships, are just a cross between a ASW DDG and light AAW CG. They are really a bastard ship. But will probally serve the ROCN very well as long as they are properly maintained. Won't be cheap. But they have those GE LM-2500 marine gas turbines. Those babies(Powerplants) have an excellent service record. I'm not really sure what sort of weapons systems the US sold the ROCN.

Say is the ROCN calling them CG's???
 

FuManChu

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But will probally serve the ROCN very well as long as they are properly maintained. Won't be cheap.
They can probably afford it. Also they don't have any other destroyers to run now that the Gearings have been decommissioned.

I'm not really sure what sort of weapons systems the US sold the ROCN.
I might be wrong, but I think the more important bits are:

Standard Missile 2, Block IIIA (66 in Mk 26 launchers)
Harpoon, Block II
ASROC and Mk46 torpedoes
Phalanx-1B
Baseline NTU mod for the AAW system, as well as NTDS
SQS-53D sonar (digital version)

You'll have to forgive me if I've left anything important off!

Say is the ROCN calling them CG's???
Nah, DDGs.
 
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Finn McCool

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For the sake of the ROCN I hope they can afford to operate them. To me the Kidd class ,while very capable ships, are just a cross between a ASW DDG and light AAW CG. They are really a bastard ship. But will probally serve the ROCN very well as long as they are properly maintained. Won't be cheap. But they have those GE LM-2500 marine gas turbines. Those babies(Powerplants) have an excellent service record. I'm not really sure what sort of weapons systems the US sold the ROCN.

Say is the ROCN calling them CG's???
That's exactly what the ROCN needs. They can't afford to have a class of ship for AAW and another for surface warfare and ASW. They need both in one, which is what they get in the Kidd.

The latest arms bill passing the Yuan (or whatever it is called) in Taiwan has run into some stiff opposition.

Taiwan MP in 'tear gas' protest
By Caroline Gluck
BBC News, Taipei



Mr Lee is known as a political maverick
A Taiwanese legislator could face disciplinary action after spraying what appeared to be tear gas during a parliamentary committee hearing.
Independent legislator Lee Ao, who was trying stop debate on a controversial arms bill, also pulled out a stun gun.

Mr Lee caused a commotion after putting on a mask and spraying gas from an aerosol canister into the packed room.

Although his actions worked to block the discussions, he could be suspended for violating safety regulations.

"I'm an old man and I can risk my life," said Mr Lee, 71, who is also a candidate in the mayoral elections in Taipei in December.

He then brandished a stun gun, setting off a warning alarm.

'Political maverick'

Some legislators were clearly shocked; others laughed, while more started coughing and began running towards windows and the exit doors.

After all the commotion, the committee then blocked discussion of the arms bill, which has been held up for the past two years.

The bill would allow billions of dollars of arms to be purchased from the United States.

The opposition parties have argued that the multi billion dollar arms purchase of submarines and anti-submarine aircraft from the United States is unnecessary and too costly.

Analysts have warned that Taiwan needs to boost its defence spending to prevent the military balance shifting further in China's favour.

While Lee Ao's antics appear to have succeeded, they have left some legislators furious.

He could now be referred to a parliamentary disciplinary committee, which has the power to suspend him if it rules that he has violated safety regulations.

Mr Lee is often described as a political maverick.

He is a respected writer and a popular television personality, well known for his acerbic comments and controversial views.

But his latest actions, which have now become headline news, are being seen by many as a step too far.
The Taiwanese don't realize that if they aren't going to make up their mind about the independence issue and instead try to continue living in limbo (which works well for Taiwan) they are going to have to continually spend lots of money on weapons.
 
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FuManChu

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That's exactly what the ROCN needs. They can't afford to have a class of ship for AAW and another for surface warfare and ASW. They need both in one, which is what they get in the Kidd.
Versatility is the watchword right now, provided of course the platform can do those various jobs properly. But from all reports the Kidds can, so they're a good buy in the end.

The latest arms bill passing the Yuan (or whatever it is called) in Taiwan has run into some stiff opposition.
Oh, the incident with the tear gas was irrelevant - the Opposition had already decided to put the bill off again. It was rather ridiculous, because originally they'd agreed to pass it, but then the PFP made the KMT change their minds. Something drivel about pressure would be put on the prosecutor investigating President Chen if the bill was passed before the final report was out - of course it couldn't possibly.

Apparently the report will be out in a few weeks, so we will be able to see whether these are delaying tactics, or they are serious about the purchase going through. It was funny to hear Ma say there was "no rush" in getting the arms purchase completed, when for years the Pan-Blues were complaining about how the submarines would take years to be delivered. So which is it?! :D

The Taiwanese don't realize that if they aren't going to make up their mind about the independence issue and instead try to continue living in limbo (which works well for Taiwan) they are going to have to continually spend lots of money on weapons.
How can they easily make up their minds? They've got a gun to their heads (two if you count the fact Washington says it won't support them if they declare independence). The status-quo might cost them in some respects, but in others it is preferable for now. In the long-run it does appear that they won't be satisfied with things as they are.

On the purchases themselves, some of the weapons purchases are necessary. While the primary mission is to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion, they're going to have a military anyway. The S-2 trackers they used to rely on for ASW are mostly retired and the remaining few lack the sophistication and numbers to carry on doing the job properly. So the P-3 Orions are necessary. Same applies to the submarines - the current force needs to be upgraded. The only thing which is truly related to the "Taiwan issue" are the PAC-3 batteries.
 
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Finn McCool

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How can they easily make up their minds? They've got a gun to their heads (two if you count the fact Washington says it won't support them if they declare independence). The status-quo might cost them in some respects, but in others it is preferable for now. In the long-run it does appear that they won't be satisfied with things as they are.

On the purchases themselves, some of the weapons purchases are necessary. While the primary mission is to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion, they're going to have a military anyway. The S-2 trackers they used to rely on for ASW are mostly retired and the remaining few lack the sophistication and numbers to carry on doing the job properly. So the P-3 Orions are necessary. Same applies to the submarines - the current force needs to be upgraded. The only thing which is truly related to the "Taiwan issue" are the PAC-3 batteries.
What I mean is that the Taiwanese want to have their cake (independence) and eat it too (not being invaded by China). Right now they are doing that. The price has been major amounts of military spending. That will continue to be the price and the price will rise as time goes on.
 

FuManChu

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Curiously enough, Taiwanese defence spending has been falling since 2000 or so as a proportion of GDP - it's only set to rise from the next budget onwards (and still level out lower than it was for a long time under KMT dictatorship). I think that will be affordable - Taiwan won't be able to match what China does in terms of raw expenditure, just have a credible force that could delay an attack as long as possible.

On a new front, the de-facto US ambassador showed that Washington is really pissed about the dithering over the arms bill. I doubt he was talking personally - this is what the US has been saying all the time, just not very directly.

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I thought this was a killer:

The United States is watching closely and will judge those who take responsible positions on this as well as those who play politics. Because fundamentally, this moment and this opportunity could pass and be missed by Taiwan if it doesn't seize it.
The message to the KMT is, "We know you want this to pass - you asked for it before you lost the Presidency. So stop playing politics with the bill, else you might find you won't get access to what you want from 2008 onwards."
 

The_Zergling

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The message to the KMT is, "We know you want this to pass - you asked for it before you lost the Presidency. So stop playing politics with the bill, else you might find you won't get access to what you want from 2008 onwards."
Which is indeed something interesting to consider; whether or not the next US president would be as willing to sell weaponary to Taiwan. It's a sticky situation because Taiwan's next presidential election is in 2008 as well. Cynics say that the KMT is just holding out on this because if not they won't get any kickbacks from an arms deal. (Note how the old KMT government would buy pretty much anything the US offered)
 

FuManChu

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Which is indeed something interesting to consider; whether or not the next US president would be as willing to sell weaponary to Taiwan.
Whether the current offer of arms would be made again I am not so sure. I think that things like missiles and spare parts would certainly be put on the table. Also you have to remember that Bill Clinton offered quite a few things to Taiwan while he was President. But it would be ridiculous to wait on the purchase, given we have no idea who even the candidates will be at this stage! Plus losing two years on the build of the submarines would be a bad idea. I think the flashpoint, if there is one, won't happen until at least the start of the next decade (Olympics in 2008, Shanghai World Expo in 2010) - enough time to get the arms introduced into the Taiwanese military if the purchase happens now. More delays and it could be that when things get nasty, the submarines are still under construction.

It's a sticky situation because Taiwan's next presidential election is in 2008 as well. Cynics say that the KMT is just holding out on this because if not they won't get any kickbacks from an arms deal. (Note how the old KMT government would buy pretty much anything the US offered)
Yeah, no slush funds for the KMT while they're in Opposition. :roll:

But I think it's because the PFP are really against the purchases and Ma is too cowardly to stand up to them. You should have read some of the things the PFP was saying about him recently. A decisive leader would have grabbed them by the shirt, pinned them against the wall and said if they did that again he'd throw them out his office window - which he could effectively do, because without KMT support the PFP will practically cease to exist after next year's legislative elections. But at the moment Ma is like a trained monkey dancing to James Soong's tune.

After Stephen Young's comments we'll have to see if Ma is still dancing or not. :D
 
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