Military

Why Does Taiwan Need M-1 Abrams Tanks?

Is this just a total waste of money or a powerful weapon to stop China if they invade?

The National Interest
Date: November 23, 2019  
By: Michael Peck


The U.S. State Department has approved a Taiwanese request to buy 108 M-1A2T Abrams tanks. The U.S. Congress still has to approve the $2 billion sale, which includes fourteen M88A2 Hercules tank recovery vehicles, and several thousand rounds of 120-millimeter shells of various types.

“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” stated the State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency. China, which considers Taiwan to be a renegade Chinese province, most vehemently disagrees.

But there is a more practical question: of all the weapons that Taiwan would need to defend itself against a Chinese invasion, should main battle tanks be at the top of the list?

First, Taiwan is an island. To forcibly conquer Taiwan, China will have either bombard it into submission with missiles and aircraft, or conduct an amphibious and airborne invasion across the 110-mile-wide Taiwan Strait. If China can land a sizeable force on Taiwan, then it has achieved sufficient air and naval superiority in the face of Taiwanese—and quite possibly U.S.—defenses.
[FULL  STORY]

China Warns US, Japan not to Hamper Its Drills After Chinese Carrier Sails Through Taiwan Strait

Sputnik International
Date: 18.11.2019
By: Oleg Burunov

© AFP 2019 / –

On Sunday, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defence reported that China's first domestically made aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait, shadowed by several US and Japanese warships.

Beijing has warned the US and Japan not to create obstacles to drills conducted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)’s Navy.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Gen Shuang specifically commented on US and Japanese warships shadowing a PLA naval task forces in the Taiwan Strait.

"I want to note that a detachment of Chinese warships conducted regular exercises at the country’s doorstep, and that there is no need to make such noise about it,” Gen said.  

At the same time, he said that he would like to emphasise that “these activities of the Chinese side comply with international law and practice.”

“We demand that the relevant sides completely stop any interference in the usual military activities of China,” Gen said when asked to comment on the presence of US and Japanese in the water area, where Chinese naval drills were taking place.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan Buys Lots Of Tanks, But Really Wants New F-16Vs

As dozens of US and allied warships operate in the Pacific, trailed by a Chinese spy ship, the Trump administration debates selling new F-16s to Taiwan.

Breaking Defense
Date: July 09, 2019
By: Paul McLeary

A US Army M1 Abrams heavy tank unloads from a transport ship.

WASHINGTON: China is demanding the US halt the proposed $2 billion sale of Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles to Taiwan while warning it will act to protect itself.

On Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang demanded the US should “immediately cancel” the deal with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, not an independent country.

The 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger ground-to-air missiles the Trump Administration has approved for sale to Taiwan are purely defensive acquisitions, but Taiwan, ever worried about Chinese desires to bring it back into the fold, has long had its hopes pinned on a more politically fraught deal with Washington: dozens of 4th generation F-16V fighters the Trump administration continues to debate whether to make a deal for. 

Shuang added that the proposed deal is a deliberate “crude interference” in Chinese internal affairs that takes aim at Chinese sovereignty. “China urges the US to immediately cancel the planned arms sale and stop military relations with Taipei to avoid damaging Sino-US relations and harming peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” he added.    [FULL  STORY]

USAF looks to help Taiwan with F-5 spares

Flight Global
Date: 02 MAY, 2019
By: Greg Waldron

The US Air Force wants to assess sources that can provide spare parts for Taiwan’s fleet of Northrop F-5E fighters.

The Proven Aircraft Office of the Air Force Materiel Command has issued a list of 37 separate F-5 parts required, ranging from windshield panels and fuel tanks to air data computers.

Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) has 56 in-service F-5s, all produced locally by AIDC. These comprise 20 single-seat F-5Es, 31 two-seat F-5Fs, and five RF-5E reconnaissance jets. The average age of the fleet is 36.8 years.

In addition, Taiwan has 142 examples – 123 F-5Es and 19 F-5Fs – listed as stored.
[FULLSTORY]

Tsai thanks military engineers for disaster relief

Radio Taiwan International 
Date: 25 January, 2019
By: Jake Chen

Tsai thanks military engineers for disaster relief

President Tsai Ing-wen has thanked a group of military engineers that took part in the disaster relief work after last year’s Hualien earthquake.

The 6.4 earthquake killed 17 and left 285 injured.

While meeting with troops Friday, Tsai said she remembers that soldiers were among the first to arrive to help earthquake victims. Tsai encouraged the troops to keep working hard through the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

“Your disaster relief work after the Hualien earthquake not only makes me proud, it also shows society that you are an important group. There is no vacation when it comes to defending the nation, and natural disasters are unpredictable. The tasks you face are very challenging but also very important. Even though the Lunar New Year is approaching, some of you are still staying and preparing,” said Tsai.     [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan army, navy, air force to conduct joint anti-landing exercise in Southern Taiwan 

All 3 arms of Taiwan’s military to combine in anti-landing exercise on August 21

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/08/20
By: Scott Morgan, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Live fire during Han Kuang exercise in 2017. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – All three branches of Taiwan’s armed forces will conduct a joint anti-landing exercise in Pingtung County (屏東縣), southern Taiwan on August 21.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the exercise will take place near the Manfeng fishing grounds (東滿豐漁場), north of Kenting National Park, and will simulate an enemy amphibious beach assault.
[FULL  STORY]

Taiwan leader inspects navy as China prepares drills

The Washington Post
Date: April 13, 2018
By: Associated Press

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, left, boards a Kidd-class destroyer during a navy exercise in the bound of Suao naval station in Yilan County, northeast of Taiwan, Friday, April 13, 2018. Taiwan’s Armed Forces showed their capabilities of defending the Taiwan Strait with warfare involving submarine, surface ships with helicopter and Air Force strikes ahead of another drill conducted by China next week. (Chiang Ying-ying/Associated Press)

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen reviewed military drills Friday ahead of planned war games by China amid rising tensions between the rivals.

Tsai went aboard a U.S.-made destroyer in the port of Su’ao as the island’s armed forces simulated breaking a blockade of the self-ruled island.

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has scheduled live-fire war games in the Taiwan Strait for next Wednesday. That follows Beijing’s heated objections to U.S. moves to strengthen relations with Taiwan’s democratic, independence-leaning government.

Despite a lack of formal ties, Washington is legally bound to respond to threats to Taiwan and is the island’s main supplier of foreign military hardware.    [FULL  STORY]

Military denies report of missile drill plan

The China Post
Date: September 18, 2017
By: The China Post

Taiwan’s military on Monday denied a local media report that it has planned to

(Courtesy of the Military News Agency)

conduct a live-fire surface-to-surface missile exercise.

According to the report, the National Security Council and the Ministry of National Defense have directed the newly formed Air Force Air Defense and Missile Command to conduct a live-fire exercise Tactical Shorebase Missile for Fire Suppression (TSMFS) in the near future in light of the rising tension in the Korean peninsula. TSMFS refers to Taiwan’s indigenous Hsiung Feng IIE surface-to-surface cruise missile system.

The exercise would have been Taiwan’s first live-fire test for the Hsiung Feng IIE since its deployment in 2010, the local media reported.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese observers to attend Black Dart counterdrone exercises in US

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 12, 2017
By: Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taiwan has been invited to attend the US military’s Black Dart counterdrone exercise in June next year, a Ministry of National Defense official said on Sunday.
Black Dart is a live-fire exercise held annually at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida where troops target drones, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Four Taiwanese military observers are expected to attend the exercise along with observers from other nations and compile a report on US counterdrone tactics for the military’s consideration, he said.

The first Black Dart exercise was held in 2002 and it became an annual exercise following the success of the initial event, with an increasing number of foreign nations invited to send observers, the official said.

Black Dart constantly updates its tactics and arsenal to keep abreast of the latest emerging threats, and US troops tested 55 countertactics in the exercises in 2015, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

Air force confirms another missile glitch during drill

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 24, 2017
By: Staff writer, with CNA

The air force confirmed another missile glitch during a military drill in Pingtung County yesterday, a day after two MIM-23 Hawk missiles veered off course after they were launched at the same annual military exercise to test precision weapons.

The days-long exercise concluded at 11:20am yesterday at the Jioupeng Military Base (九鵬基地), the air force said in a statement.

“The air force will conduct a thorough review, as soon as possible, on all problems identified during the drill,” it said.

The statement came in response to a report by the Chinese-language Apple Daily earlier in the day that an Indigenous Defense Fighter had launched a Tien Chien (Sky Sword) II missile, but the missile failed to ignite and fell directly into the sea.

The reason for the incident is still under investigation, the report said.    [FULL  STORY]