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Old 10-26-2020, 11:08 AM
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Exclamation To Thwart Invasion, Taiwan Points Powerful New Missiles At Chinese Bases

To Thwart Invasion, Taiwan Points Powerful New Missiles At Chinese Bases
By: David Axe - Aerospace & Defense News & Forbes News - 10-26-20
Re: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidax.../#584cf1ce47f6

Photo link: https://specials-images.forbesimg.co...02&cropY2=1517
A U.S. Army High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System Launches an Army Tactical Missile System rocket. U.S. ARMY

Taiwan is stocking up on air- and ground-launched rockets that, in the event of war with China, could pummel Chinese invasion forces before they even leave their bases.

Taipei’s possible, multi-billion-dollar acquisition of American-made Standoff Land-Attack Missiles—Expanded Response and High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems could help to counter China’s own expanding missile arsenal.

Beijing long has planned to lob hundreds or even thousands of missiles at Taiwan as a prelude to any invasion. Now Taipei aims to lob its own missiles right back.

“HIMARS and SLAM-ER are cutting-edge technologically and will diversify and improve the capacity of Taiwan's counter-strike missile force,” said Ian Easton, a Taiwan expert with the Project 2049 Institute in Virginia.

The U.S. State Department in late October announced the potential sale to Taipei of 135 SLAM-ER missiles for $1 billion as well as 11 HIMARS launchers for $436 million. The wheeled HIMARS launchers come with 64 Army Tactical Missile Systems rockets.

The ATACMS rocket can carry a 500-pound non-nuclear warhead over a distance of 190 miles. The SLAM-ER, launched by Taiwan’s fleet of F-16 fighters, hauls an 800-pound warhead as far as 155 miles.

“This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the State Department explained.

The Taiwan Strait is just 110 miles across at its widest point. HIMARS batteries hiding out on Taiwan’s mountainous terrain could hit ports and airfields on China’s coast. F-16s firing SLAM-ERs could strike Chinese facilities farther inland.

Area Map link: https://specials-images.forbesimg.co...=79&cropY2=716

Taipei’s plan apparently is to wait until the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force initiates an invasion with its own missile barrages targeting Taiwanese bases and troop formations.

After that initial barrage, Taiwanese forces would fire back, not only with ATACMS and SLAM-ER, but also with locally-made Wan Chien air-launched cruise missiles and Yun Feng ground-launched cruise missiles. “It is not pre-emptive and it would, in fact, be fatal not to do it,” Easton said of the Taiwanese counter-strike.

The main targets could be the People’s Liberation Army’s ports and airfields in Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong. At first, Taiwanese missiles could hit PLA troops assembling for a cross-Strait attack. Once the surviving Chinese troops sailed toward Taiwan, subsequent missiles strikes could target the logistical infrastructure at the same bases.

“Invasion operations take a long time and they rely heavily on fixed bases for logistics,” Easton explained. “They are not short, one-wave affairs. If the ports and airfields in Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong can be devastated before the PLA gets established on Taiwan's coast and builds up to the tipping point, it will be much easier for the Taiwanese ground forces to push the invaders back into the sea.”

Taipei’s growing arsenal of long-range missiles complicates Beijing’s invasion-planning. “It will force the PLA to invest more heavily in defensive measures,” Easton said. “All defense budgets are finite, even China's. The more the PLA has to invest in defensive measures, the less it will have for offensive operations.”

And it’s likely the SLAM-ER and HIMARS buys are just the beginning. “A sale like this marks a turning point,” Easton said. “It was previously unthinkable. Now it looks like common sense.”

The U.S. defense industry is working on new generations of air- and ground-launched missiles with even great range. Easton said the HIMARS and SLAM-ER sale “opens the door for future sales to Taiwan of advanced theater ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles, which the Pentagon is currently developing with an eye to stopping a future Chinese invasion of Taiwan.”

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Personal note: It seems China's been pushing a lot of buttons of late. The local nation's are prepping for counter-measures to ensure their own health and safety. Can't blame them China has been rattling a lot of cages lately and insecurity will drive these nations to make provisions for their countries survival.

Boats
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