Taiwan Needs to Signal Military Resolve

Taiwan is considering a 5.6% military budget increase over the 2021 allocation and come to the usual 2.3% of gross domestic product. The new budget is in response to a surge in Chinese activity in or near the Taiwanese air defense identification zone since mid-2020.

World War 2 might have been avoided if there was a clearer indication of resolve and capability before the war. If the allies had rearmed a few years earlier or if the US had send 2 million troops to France before it was invaded, then Germany would have been deterred.

If the US is willing to defend Taiwan and Taiwan is willing to strongly resist any invasion by China then this resolve needs to be clearly and unambiguously signaled.

Israel has a GDP of $450 billion. Taiwan has a GDP of $700 billion. Israel has a defence budget of about $21.7 billion while Taiwan is considering $17.7 billion. Israel spends 5.6% of its GDP on defence and Taiwan is at 2.3%. Israel has been able to grow its economy while sustaining higher levels of military spending. Israel also exports weapons and weapons technology.

Taiwan is a global leader with semiconductors and has other advanced technological capabilities.

The Taiwan Air Force has about 70,000 personnel and over 400 combat aircraft. The current inventory includes approximately 180 older F-5E/F fighters and over 100 more modern Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs). Fighters.

On August 20, 2019, the sale of F-16 C/D Block 70, also known as F-16V, was officially approved by the State Department and formally submitted to Congress. The 66 newly built F-16s will be supplied with 75 General Electric F110 engines and 75 AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam AESA radars. The final signing of the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for the purchase of 66 F-16V fighter jets was confirmed on December 21, 2019.

Israel has about 230 F-15 and F-16 jets and 18 F35s.

Taiwan needs to be able to make its own missiles and submarines.

In 2014, Taiwan decided to launch its indigenous submarine production program, with a view to having the first of eight examples in ROCN service by 2025.

There was a 2018 decision by the U.S. State Department to license key submarine technology for the island, which apparently included the boats’ combat management systems, as well as other technical assistance.

Taiwan’s submarine-building program studied the Dutch-built Hai Lung class plans. Other foreign know-how will likely be required, too. Taiwan requires assistance in manufacturing pressure-resistant hulls.

Diesel electric submarines can be built for about $500-1000 million. The current plan for Taiwan’s so-called Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS) program is to build eight new submarines at an estimated cost of up to US$16 billion, which is increasing the size of its fleet from effectively two today to ten a decade from now. The first new indigenous submarine, now under construction, is scheduled to be completed as early as autumn 2024.

If Taiwan increased procurement by $16 billion, they could build, man and train eight submarines every four years for 25% of the budget increase. A domestic missile program would also be ramped up.

SOURCES- IISS, Defense Industry Daily, the Drive, Wikipedia
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com