The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday claimed that Patriot missiles have an 85 percent of chance of intercepting China's People Liberation Army's (PLA) cruise missiles, which are seen as a greater threat than the PLA's ballistic missiles.
MND Integrated Assessment Office Director-General Abe Lin (
According to Lin, the computer simulation consisted of four scenarios. The first scenario presumed that the PLA used either 10, 20, and 30 M9 or M11 short-range ballistic missiles launched from several bases in China to target one installation such as a radar base.
In the second scenario, the PLA used 10, 20 or 30 missiles to hit an area such as an airport.
The third scenario had the PLA launching 10, 20 or 30 cruise missiles from bases, fighter jets, ships or submarines to target an area such as an airport.
The final scenario was that 12 PLA cruise missiles were fired and traveled along the Tamsui River, targeting a business or political objective in Taipei.
He said the computer simulation used two Patriot missiles to intercept each incoming PLA missile, with PLA cruise missiles travelling at an altitude of 150m to 200m.
Lin said the office spent nine days running each of the four scenarios some 10,000 times, and then analyzed results.
He said that Taiwan's simulation showed a slightly lower interception rate for the Patriot than that claimed by the US military.
He said the computer simulations were based on a worst-case scenario in which the PLA is able to launch SLCMs (submarine-launched cruise missiles) and multiple-warhead ballistic missiles, which are difficult to intercept.
Lin suggested that to hit cruise missiles, Taiwan needs an advanced radar and satellite system to guide its Patriot missiles. But he declined to comment on whether Taiwan is linking up with foreign countries' anti-missile radar and satellite networks.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Shuai Hua-ming (
People First Party (PFP) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (
In response, MND Vice Minister Hou Shou-yeh (霍守業) admitted the PAC-3 missile has little ability to intercept such mid-range missiles.
Lin Tsung-ta (
He said the MND simulation presumed PLA cruise missiles traveling at a height between 150m to 200m, but that the PLA currently has 200 advanced cruise missiles that can fly below an altitude of 30m.