Liquidate Fighter Fleet, Procure SAMs, If Taiwan Wants To Survive
Date: April 5, 2016
By: Wendell Minnick, Defense News
TAIPEI — Radical changes in Taiwan’s air defense order of battle that include
the retirement of all the indigenous defense fighters and Mirage 2000-5 fighter aircraft with cost savings moved to the procurement of a substantial number of mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems are among the recommendations in a think tank report.
The report, “Air Defense Options for Taiwan: An Assessment of Relative Costs and Operational Benefits,” suggests that Taiwan downsize its fighter fleet and increase investment in SAM systems. The Rand Corp. study tests this strategy against three vignettes that span the range of conflict, from air sovereignty to disarming strikes and invasion air defense.
Rand crunches the numbers in the 172-page report with reckonings that make this paper hard to ignore against political hype inside Taipei and the sexy fighter aircraft tradition in the Taiwan air force that goes back to the Flying Tigers of World War II. [FULL STORY]