The nation’s defense capability is to see a boost over the next four years, as the military is expected to acquire major equipment such as M1A2T tanks, light cruisers and F-16V jets, but production delays are likely to continue posing challenges.
With some analysts saying that Beijing is eyeing an invasion deadline of 2027, Taiwan’s military readiness over the coming years is of critical importance.
Based on the Ministry of National Defense’s published budgets, the military from now until 2027 is scheduled to receive a significant amount of new armaments.
The army is to receive delivery of 108 M1A2T Abrams main battle tanks and 29 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), while the navy is expecting nine more Tuo Chiang-class corvettes, a new type of rescue ship, the domestically developed Hai Kun (海鯤) submarine, two light cruisers and 32 shore-mounted Harpoon missile systems.
In the air force, delivery of 39 more Yung Ying (勇鷹) advanced jet trainers, 66 F-16V Block 70 jets and four MQ-9B drones are expected.
In addition, a special budget implemented from 2022 is providing the funds necessary to acquire missiles and advanced ships by 2026.
This in particular includes the Wan Chien (萬劍) cluster munitions missile optimized for striking enemy airports that is to enter mass production this year, while the Hsiung Sheng (雄昇) surface-to-surface cruise missile and Chien Hsiang (劍翔) drone for countermeasures on land are to be acquired by next year.
However, the acquisition of new equipment has not always been smooth.
Impacts over the past few years from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war have delayed military production capacity across the globe, including that of US equipment already purchased by Taiwan.
For example, the first two of the 66 F-16Vs purchased by Taiwan were scheduled for delivery last year, and all were to be delivered by 2026.
However, the ministry in May last year updated its delivery forecast for the first batch to the third quarter of this year, although it kept the 2026 estimate for completion of the entire order.
As for the four purchased MQ-9B drones, the ministry last year told lawmakers that it hoped for delivery in two batches next year, but revised the estimate to 2027 due to flight testing, training and other factors.
Despite concerns about delays as large shipments of Javelin and TOW anti-tank missiles are being diverted to Ukraine, the ministry’s budget for this year is unchanged from last year.
The army is expecting receipt of 1,240 TOW missiles and 200 Javelin missiles this year, showing that the delivery schedule has not been affected.
‘A DISASTER’: A successful Chinese attack on Taiwan would undermine the credibility of US security guarantees and could result in a global depression, three experts wrote A Chinese takeover of Taiwan would be a geopolitical catastrophe for the US and its allies, one that would overshadow almost all others over the next decade, US policy experts said. Andrew Erickson, a professor of strategy in the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute; Gabriel Collins, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy; and former US deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger issued the warning in an article published on Friday in Foreign Affairs. Bejing’s invasion or annexation of Taiwan “would be a disaster of utmost importance to the United States, and I am convinced that
Taiwanese businesspeople’s investments in China last year hit a record low of 11.4 percent of total foreign investment, the Mainland Affairs Council said yesterday. The number was a huge decline from 83.8 percent in 2010, mainly because Taiwanese businesspeople have been diversifying their investments globally over the past few years, with great success, the council said. From 1991 to last year, 45,523 Taiwanese investments in China totaling US$206.37 billion had been approved, accounting for 50.7 percent of overall foreign investment, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission showed. The amount and proportion of Taiwanese investments in China has been declining, with
Taiwanese tourists on board a Kinmen cruise ship had a scare yesterday when it was intercepted by Chinese coast guards who forcefully boarded the vessel to inspect it. The Sunrise, a tourism ferry that operates between Kinmen and Xiamen, China, was sailing around the waters around the islets of Dadan (大膽) and Erdan (二膽) — both of which are part of Kinmen County — yesterday afternoon when it encountered personnel from China’s Fujian Coast Guard Bureau. China Coast Guard personnel forced their way on board and conducted an inspection for about 30 minutes before leaving, local media cited the tourists as saying. The
SEEKING CALM: The US called for maintaining the ‘status quo,’ while the Ministry of National Defense said it would not bolster defenses in the area to avoid raising tensions Taiwanese should have greater faith in the government’s investigation into the capsizing of a Chinese vessel that resulted in the death of two Chinese fishers last week, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday, adding that Taiwan abides by the rule of law. On Wednesday last week, a Chinese speedboat was spotted trespassing in “prohibited” waters within 1.1 nautical miles (2km) of the east coast of Kinmen. It fled after refusing the coast guard’s request to board the vessel, setting off a chase that led to the boat capsizing, with two Chinese fishers dying. Two survivors were deported back to China