The armed forces are to hold field exercises on Monday and Tuesday in coastal regions dubbed “red beaches” to train defending Taiwan proper against a multipronged amphibious attack, a defense official familiar with the matter said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Live-fire drills are to be conducted on beaches and near shores in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水), at the Port of Taipei and in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音), a notice posted on the bulletin of the Fisheries Administration said.
The official said the exercises would test the army’s ability to react quickly and utilize mobile reserves to defend simultaneous attacks by the Chinese military on multiple fronts.
In the war game, the Sixth Army Corps would play the defending force and the 151st Fleet would be the aggressor, the official added.
If Beijing were to invade Taiwan, the Chinese military would attack in multiple coastal areas, as few beaches in Taiwan proper are suitable landing sites for amphibious operations, they said.
The field exercises are scheduled to begin the same day as the computer-assisted simulation component of the annual Han Kuang drills, which would conclude on Friday next week, the official said,
Findings from past tabletop exercises and trends seen in the Russia-Ukraine war would be incorporated into the computer-assisted portion of the drills, which would be based on the Joint Theater Level Simulation technology platform, the official said.
The possible landing sites for the Chinese military are dubbed “red beaches” among military analysts, they said.
In 2017, Ian Easton, now senior director at the US-based Project 2049 Institute, identified 14 vulnerable beaches that could be used as landing sites, the official said.
The Taiwanese armed forces recognize that such vulnerabilities exist, but do not agree with Easton’s assessment of their locations and number, they said.
Separately, the Ministry of National Defense last week told lawmakers that the army plans to buy 2,060 light machine guns for combat units for NT$428.9 million (US$13.94 million) over five years.
The weapons would be allocated to enhance frontline units’ firepower and their capability to conduct counterattacks against Chinese amphibious and airborne, air assault, infiltration and sabotage operations, it said.
A public version of the ministry’s proposed budget revealed a flurry of plans to buy arms and equipment amid a planned expansion of the army and marine corps following the implementation of one-year military conscription and the expansion of the reserves.
The budget proposals include NT$521 million for grenade launchers, automatic grenade launchers and pistols; NT$108 million for 107 81mm mortars; NT$232.2 million for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective equipment; NT$1.759 billion for 10,000 night vision devices; and NT$22.8 million for 2,000 binoculars.
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