Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jamestown Brief on the Navy

Today I celebrated my birthday in the proper manner for a cyclist: a Century (100 mile) ride with two of my friends. Tanzi - Taichung - Lukang - Mailiao - Shiluo - Yuanlin - Changhua - Taichung - Tanzi. Drew's post on it is here. The Wolf Spider above is a special gift for my friend Joe C, who came along for the ride. I snapped it crawling around our gate; it is no bigger than my fingernail in real life.

Out there this week are two good pieces on naval stuff from Jamestown Brief. One explores Taiwan's naval inadequacy:
The first installment of this series on the Republic of China Navy (ROCN), or Taiwan Navy, presented a skeptical assessment of the ROCN’s ability to fulfill the expansive requirements set forth in its “ROC Navy Vision” (Xin shiji haijun), which in essence directs the navy to network its operations, extend its reach and amplify its combat punch in order to take control of offshore waters [1]. Yet the Taiwan Navy submarine fleet barely rates the name, the surface fleet is ill-suited for sea control, and even according to a recent Taiwanese Defense Ministry assessment, the tactical air power on which its surface operations depend is also in serious decline (Defense News, March 8).
The second explores PRC Naval Modernization...
China’s navy thus far has been focused largely on developing a variant of regional anti-access to prevent Taiwan from declaring independence, in part by achieving credible capabilities to thwart U.S. forces should Washington elect to intervene in a cross-Strait crisis. To assess related scenarios, one must compare the actual assets that relevant militaries could deploy; overall comparison of Chinese and American defense budgets is misleading unless one envisions an all-out conflict between the two, which fortunately is not a realistic possibility. The PLAN’s current order of battle is still clearly sized and shaped primarily for defending claims on China’s disputed maritime periphery as opposed to conducting extra-regional blue water sea control operations.
Go thou and read! Also on tap: State Dept Testimony before the US-China Economic and Security Review commission.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Beijing2008 said...

The geography of an island makes it one of the most difficult things to invade, but one of the easiest to blockade.

As such, the SSKs are critical. There was a report, even very recently, also, that Taiwan was trying to buy and convert 8 additional Perry frigates into mini-Aegis warships.

Marc said...

An important and powerful island nation without a navy to protect itself.

It boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jamestown's analysis in general but I am also skeptical. For sure Taiwan can not just follow the US model of huge capital ships etc. In fact the US navy itself is investing into littoral water capabilities.

However, there were far less guirrela wars on sea and therefore less successful examples to look at. Also, sea denial does not always work neither. For example, Germany's WW2 submarine fleets. If suffers the highest casualty ratio in military history, and was only effective at the beginning of the war.

On the other hand, the advancement in technologies could make sea denial fleets far more effective. Taiwan has to look into it seriously for sure.

Kuang Hua VI is not good and everyone knows that. Already many in Taiwan realize its inadequacy when it first came out. However, it was the FIRST serious attempt by the navy to actually try design and build its own platform. As always, first time usually sucks. It takes time to reach the level of Swedish navy. Just look at Korea as an example.

What is important for Taiwan is to continue doing and improving it. Don't just do something and then give it up (like the case with IDF, although again the situation is a bit different).

Anonymous said...

I think wolf spider is missing a leg...poor guy.

Beijing2008 said...

Here's the link (it works now)

Beijing2008 said...

Quote (Marc): "An important and powerful island nation without a navy to protect itself. It boggles the mind."

I don't think that 4 Kidds DDGs, 8 Perrys FFGs, 8 Knoxes, 6 Lafayettes FFGs, 2 Zwaardvis SSKs, 12 P-3C Orions (on the way,) MD-500 helos, 30 KH-6 FABs (on the way,) 4 Yung Yangs, 2 Osprey-class minesweepers (on the way,) 16 amphibious vessels and 19 Seahawks helos qualifies as "Not having a navy."

I think what you mean is, "Doesn't have a highly capable navy."

Marc said...

Beijing: I think what you mean is, "Doesn't have a highly capable navy."

No, I meant what I meant.

Beijing2008 said...


That's right. 110 warships = no navy.