UPDATE: Taiwan, Subs, and Nuclear Deterrence

Posted: July 7, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , ,

It seems the Taiwan report is…bogus.  No wait, false.

Recent local media reports that Taiwan test-fired an anti-ship Hsiung Feng 2 (Brave Wind) missile from a Dutch-built Hai Lung (Sea Dragon) submarine during an exercise in late June now appear to be false.

Taiwan’s Hai Lung’s have "absolutely no capability" of launching anti-ship missiles from their torpedo tubes, said a former Taiwan Navy official who worked with ordnance used on the submarines. "This is common sense since they still have problems with just launching torpedoes with the old fire control system."

So while the basic capability is still missing, the small deterrence payoff for the ‘false’ system remains valid.

Original report follows:

Defense News reports Taiwan is said to have tested a Taiwanese-developed submarine launched missile.

The reason? 

…to counter the threat of China’s fast-expanding navy

I’m thinking the fast-expanding Chinese navy won’t be too deterred by the development. 

Taiwan’s navy operates a fleet of four submarines, but only the two Dutch-built ships could be deployed in the event of war. The other two were built by the United States in the 1940s.

Now if there were more subs and they were modern and if these missiles had nuclear weapons, the deterrence factor would have to be honored by China. But that’s a lot of ifs.

And as for the subs, there’s always the high-speed hold of the U.S. regarding Taiwanese arms sales.  But for the nuclear weapons, who Kahn the Taiwanese call?


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