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Taiwan Tries Again For F-16's


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Not so sure about the PRC being able to destroy most or all ROCAF fighter aircraft on the ground. In all fighter airbases on the East coast, the aircraft are stored in artificial mountain caves, while all airbases on the West coast possess extensive HAS systems. No fighter plane is left standing in the open.

https://www.scramble.nl/orbats/taiwan/airforce

 

Of course, all run- and taxiways are exposed and getting the planes in the air after a cruise and ballistic missile barrage may pose quite a challenge. Naturally this all depends on the extent of the damage, additional attack waves, UXO and the capability of the rapid runway repair crews on these bases.

 

Based on my interactions with a Taiwanese F-16 pilot I attended the Korean AF Staff College with, I have some doubts as to Taiwan's willingness to fight. Admittedly that was a sample of one but still... If the PRC did an all out missile barrage on Taiwan followed up by a quickly emplaced naval blockade, it wouldn't surprised me if the Taiwanese threw in the towel before we could get there.

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Not so sure about the PRC being able to destroy most or all ROCAF fighter aircraft on the ground. In all fighter airbases on the East coast, the aircraft are stored in artificial mountain caves, while all airbases on the West coast possess extensive HAS systems. No fighter plane is left standing in the open.

https://www.scramble.nl/orbats/taiwan/airforce

 

Of course, all run- and taxiways are exposed and getting the planes in the air after a cruise and ballistic missile barrage may pose quite a challenge. Naturally this all depends on the extent of the damage, additional attack waves, UXO and the capability of the rapid runway repair crews on these bases.

 

Based on my interactions with a Taiwanese F-16 pilot I attended the Korean AF Staff College with, I have some doubts as to Taiwan's willingness to fight. Admittedly that was a sample of one but still... If the PRC did an all out missile barrage on Taiwan followed up by a quickly emplaced naval blockade, it wouldn't surprised me if the Taiwanese threw in the towel before we could get there.

Calvin, I would be curious as to when the interactions with that pilot occurred. If it was within the last 2 or so years, I find it quite unlikely to represent the whole of will power.If it was 5~10 years ago, then its easier to imagine. Tensions between China and other countries in general were quite low in the period running from early 2000s up until 2014, except Japan, tensions ran high in 2012 over the Senkaku islands and so sentiment between China and Japan remained low ever since. Tensions between China and Taiwan were very high in the mid 1990s because of Taiwan's first presidential election. But since then, China got the green light to join the WTO in 1999/2000 and fully ascended by 2002/2003ish. Like with many countries, Taiwan jumped on to make for good business environment. Two forms of thinking in the west were quite strong... "China would democratize if they get a solid middle class so lets do business!" and "poor China, Japan never apologized enough, Tojo, war crimes, PH2001movie, etc." So that was the meta at the time. A Pro-China Taiwanese president was elected in 2008, name is Ma, and reelected in 2012.

 

I think the moment it became clear that China wss not going to abondon being at geopolitic odds with the established norm of order in the Asia Pacific was when they started making islands in the South China Sea in 2014/2015. There were earlier indications that China was not going to go along with the norms such as the locking up of Liu Xiaobo in 2009 and the strike down and crack down by the CCP following the Charter 08 call. And then at more geopolitical actions was the PRC blocking Scarborough Shoal from Filipino access and the the PRC increasing water territorial intrusions at the Senkaku islands which triggered Japanese nationalization of them which then triggered far more frequent water territory intrusions, both happening in 2012. But it was the South China Sea island making in 2014/2015 that really put the spotlight on China that really shows China is up to no good. also in 2014 was the very large HK umbrella demonstrations, likely adding to the sense that the CCP isn't going to change from tight undemocratic control. Also, in 2015, China broadcasted a video of their military training at capturing a mock city that looked just like Taiwan's presidential and surrounding buildings. So in the Taiwan 2016 presidential election, Tsai won the election on yhe basis of harder sentiments twords China and on a stronger feeling of being Taiwanese and for democracy since unification with China would obviously mean the end of its democratic processes and a greater will to fight on the raise. So yeah, I'd be curious as to which phase your described interactions with the pilot took place.

 

One other thing that probably should be considered is that a point about the % of GDP the defense budget gets. During the 1990s, it was between 3~4%. During president Ma's first term, it fell to around 2.0%. But during his second term, it started to raise again. And under Tsai, it still raising. However Taiwan is small. 2.0% of GDP is essentially about only 11 Billion USD. 3.0% of GDP makes it about 15 billion USD. In all honestly, there's no way that Taiwan can scale up and hope to match vs the PRC. Of course willingness to fight still matters a lot and would make a difference on the ground but only if augmented with international power. But alone, the will power wouldn't be enough.

 

As for a quick BM barrage followed by a quick naval blockade by the PRC, I don't think Japan would allow it. The SDF positions on the southern Nansei islands would help keep an open route by sea to Taiwan since the anti-ship missiles there will have the range to reach the coast of Taiwan. If the PRC ever gets ready to launch an amphibious assualt across the strait, that force build up should be detectable and provide enough time for going high alert among US and Japanese forces.

Edited by JasonJ
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If youre m wrong, its TDS.

 

If Im right, what will you call it?

 

Something along the lines of the Knight-Ridder DC Bureau reporters who correctly called the run-up to Iraq into question, while most of the national press was paying lip service to the Bush Administration's portrayal of it.

Edited by Nobu
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Based on my interactions with a Taiwanese F-16 pilot I attended the Korean AF Staff College with, I have some doubts as to Taiwan's willingness to fight.

 

The ROCN apparently spent tens of millions of dollars in 2017 to extend the service life of an improved WW2 Gato-class submarine to 2026. Considering the seaborne nature of the supposedly existential peril they face, this does not exactly inspire confidence in how seriously the Republic of Chinese are about fighting it.

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Based on my interactions with a Taiwanese F-16 pilot I attended the Korean AF Staff College with, I have some doubts as to Taiwan's willingness to fight.

 

The ROCN apparently spent tens of millions of dollars in 2017 to extend the service life of an improved WW2 Gato-class submarine to 2026. Considering the seaborne nature of the supposedly existential peril they face, this does not exactly inspire confidence in how seriously the Republic of Chinese are about fighting it.

 

 

It'll maintain the basic level of personnel qualification in submarine use until the new submarines are delivered. They plan on making 8 SSKs. The first one planned to be deployed in 2026.

 

 

 

Taiwan has revealed a miniature model of the country’s first domestically-designed and produced diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) during a groundbreaking ceremony on May 9 for a new shipyard to construct and repair the Republic of China Navy’s (ROCNs) new submarine force in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

 

Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen stressed the importance of submarines in the country’s defense strategy. “Submarines not only can build up our asymmetrical power, but also will more effectively deter patrols of the enemy ships,” she was quoted as saying.

 

The shipyard will likely take a year to build.

 

Notably, the model features an X-form rudder system. Mike Chou, the executive vice president and director of China Shipbuilding Corporation’s (CSBC) submarine development center — the country’s main ship-building company — declined to confirm local media reports that the design is modeled on Japan’s Soryu– and Oyashio-class SSKs.

 

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) in consultation with U.S. defense consultants have been evaluating design proposals from six foreign shipbuilders including two European and two U.S. companies, as well as an Indian firm and a Japanese firm. According to local media reports, the MoD selected a European company to supply the design for the new ROCN SSK fleet. As I noted back in September:

 

[T]he boats will be assembled using Japanese construction techniques. A Japanese team consisting of retired engineers from Mitsubishi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries has been supporting the Taiwanese government as technical consultants since the early days of the IDS program.

 

U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin will serve as systems integrator and reportedly also supply the subs’ combat management system. (Earlier reports indicated that U.S. defense contractor General Dynamics also offered its AN/BYG-1 submarine combat management system.)

 

The U.S. Department of State approved licenses for U.S. defense firms to sell U.S.-made submarine technology to Taiwan in April 2018 enabling closer collaboration between the U.S. and Taiwan on submarine construction. As I reported in March 2017, the IDS program is divided up into two phases:

 

The first phase consists of completing design work on Taiwan’s new class of attack subs for which the government allocated approximately NT$2 billion ($65.66 million). The second stage entails the construction of the new boats with the ambitious goal of finishing construction in eight years and commissioning the subs into service with the ROCN within a decade. (Each sub could cost as much as $1 billion, according to The Diplomat estimates.)

 

The ROCN aims to deploy a fleet of eight new SSKs. Construction of the first-of-class boat is expected to begin at the end of 2020 or early 2021 with the first operational deployment tentatively scheduled for 2026.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/taiwan-unveils-model-of-indigenously-designed-diesel-electric-attack-submarine/

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=41869&page=1

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And be more sustainable than the F-5. which can be considered vintage or classic by now.

 

They could also be considered indicators of how seriously the Republic of Chinese actually are about fighting.

 

Contrast this with the Israelis, who can be accused of many things, but never of being unwilling to fight their own battles.

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Based on my interactions with a Taiwanese F-16 pilot I attended the Korean AF Staff College with, I have some doubts as to Taiwan's willingness to fight.

The ROCN apparently spent tens of millions of dollars in 2017 to extend the service life of an improved WW2 Gato-class submarine to 2026. Considering the seaborne nature of the supposedly existential peril they face, this does not exactly inspire confidence in how seriously the Republic of Chinese are about fighting it.

IMO it is a sign of their inability to buy modern subs. Sellers are bowing to PRC pressure.

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Frankly outside of nukes, it doesn't matter what we arm the Taiwanese with. The only real thing that stays China's hand is their belief in the willingness of US presidential administrations to respond with force to aggression against Taiwan. So Taiwan's future as a sovereign nation looks bleak.

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Frankly outside of nukes, it doesn't matter what we arm the Taiwanese with. The only real thing that stays China's hand is their belief in the willingness of US presidential administrations to respond with force to aggression against Taiwan. So Taiwan's future as a sovereign nation looks bleak.

 

Taiwan has to get nukes.

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The lack of urgency on the part of the Republic of Chinese in developing domestic weapons systems for national self defense is thunderous in various ways.

 

Almost as if their true assessment of their situation was different from the assessment being paid lip service to in order to maintain the obligation of others to do their fighting for them.

 

Taiwan's mistake for submitting to pressure. North Korea did not.

 

Neither did Israel.

 

The Israelis can be blamed for many things, but not taking their own defense seriously from an existential standpoint is not one of them.

 

The contrast between this level of seriousness and that of the Republic of Chinese is stark.

Edited by Nobu
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Time to revive SEATO, perhaps an enlarged version which might include Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and have joint naval exercises in the immediate vicinity of the Spratly Islands.

I could understand no Nobu :)

 

But no Japan?

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Time to revive SEATO, perhaps an enlarged version which might include Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and have joint naval exercises in the immediate vicinity of the Spratly Islands.

 

The Republic of Chinese/Taiwanese claims on the Spratleys that are the basis of Chinese claims in the South China Sea might complicate such exercises in various ways.

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Lockheed Martin moved the F-16 production line to South Carolina, primarily to free up factory space for the F-35. I wonder if they anticipated all this continuing interest in the F-16?

 

For one they still have orders in the books and two not everyone can afford or for three is able to get the okay from the USa to buy F-35.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lockheed Martin moved the F-16 production line to South Carolina, primarily to free up factory space for the F-35. I wonder if they anticipated all this continuing interest in the F-16?

 

There might have been a need to do so after consideration of Make in India as well as "sell to India" fell through.

 

The Republic of Chinese seem perfectly capable of devoting the resources to the actual building of 80s-era airframes on their own. The interesting question would be why they appear to have abandoned this approach.

Edited by Nobu
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