Military to reorganize in doctrine shift

INTEGRATION:The defense ministry is expect to shift to a ‘multiple deterrence’ strategy, pushing for weaponry systems integration and ground capability upgrades

By Lo Tien-bin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tue, Jan 03, 2017 - Page 1

The military is to reorganize the Air Defense Missile Command by putting it under the purview of the air force and merging it with the Air Defense Artillery Command, with the changes scheduled to begin in March, a Ministry of National Defense official said yesterday.

The official, who did not want to be identified, said the reorganization and merger are in response to a doctrinal shift from “effective deterrence” to “multiple deterrence,” which Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) referred to in a legislative session.

Deterrence is included in the command’s mission because it possesses surface-to-surface armaments — the tactical counter-strike missile and the Hsiung Feng III cruise missiles — in addition to the air-defense missiles that are its mainstay, including the Patriot Advanced Capability-3, Tien Kung II and Tien Kung III, the official said.

The reorganization and merger are expected to streamline the chain of command and augment operational efficiency, the official said.

The Air Defense Artillery Command is responsible for point defense and has 35mm cannons, Sparrow missiles and Tien Chien missiles, different from the ministry’s Air Defense Missile Command.

The proposed merger would do away with those distinctions, the official said.

Although the air force would control the Air Defense Missile Command, the official said the ministry would retain authority over the deployment of tactical counter-strike missiles and Hsiung Feng cruise missiles.

The ministry is deliberating over the reorganization of missile command, taking account of enemy capability assessments, operational needs and command-and-control factors, ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said.

Meanwhile, the ministry is expected to report its four-year general review and propose adjustments to national military strategy at the Legislative Yuan in March and April this year.

Feng has told lawmakers that the military will revise its doctrine from “strong defense and effective deterrence” to “strong defense and multiple deterrence” from land, sea and air.

The new doctrine is to be tested during this year’s annual Han Kuang maneuvers.

The ministry is pushing for the integration of weapons systems, Feng said, adding that the ministry would not neglect ground warfare capabilities in its deterrence infrastructure.

The army’s armored vehicles are to be replaced and the range of fielded missiles is to be increased, with the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology moving forward on research and development programs, Feng said.