China can transport about 40,000 troops in the first day for an invasion of Taiwan. IF none of the ships and helicopters and planes are shot down while crossing 100 miles of open water. If 40,000 troops could make it onto Taiwan, the Chinese troops would be outnumbered 4 to 1.
Nextbigfuture has already gone over why China cannot have a successful military invasion of Taiwan. The points all still hold and are even stronger today.
Reviewing the details is needed because there are idiots who handwave and make unfounded assertions that China can take Taiwan militarily. They also do not factor that Taiwan has Taiwan Semiconductor. 90% of the World’s advanced chips come from Taiwan Semiconductor. The Auto chip shortage which caused $200 billion in lost car revenue was caused by a 10% shortage in 12-30 year old chips. Apple, Nvidia and all the other tech companies would get on the phone to tell their political servants that any disruption of Taiwan Semiconductor is unacceptable. Big Tech and Big Money would order the politicians and military to stop the disruption. Anyone who has been paying attention the last few decades would know that the politicians and military would obey.
China would try to pound Taiwan first with missiles and planes. Taiwan has about 400 fighter jets to defend. Taiwan has thousands of missiles for antiaircraft and antiship. Taiwan is 60% mountains which makes it very easy to place missiles in rock caves where they are difficult to find and destroy. It seems likely that less than half of an amphibious assault force and troops in helicopters could reach the beaches of Taiwan. This would mean the first wave would be outnumbered 8 to 1.
Taiwan has been upgrading the underground air bases at Hualien and Taitung.
A few thousand Chinese paratrooper and helicopter-delivered troops would not be able to take and hold any airport or airfield in Taiwan.
The current Russia-Ukraine war shows that all of China’s modern jets are vulnerable to US missiles.
In the early 1990s, China began purchasing fourth-generation fighters from Russia to boost its inventory and gain technical experience. China bought a number of Su-27, Su-30MKK, and Su-35 fighters from Russia between 1992 and 2015 and began making its own versions of those jets as soon as it got them. China has about 800 modern jets and over a thousand old jets. The modern jets are of the same standard as the Russian jets which are currently underperforming in Ukraine. China has to now expect that their “modern” Russian jets and their copies of those jets are crappy planes that are vulnerable to cheap Stinger missiles. Stinger missiles cost about $120,000 each. It seems that the Russian Su-27, Su-30MKK, and Su-35 fighters are vulnerable to Stinger anti-air missiles.
Taiwan will likely load up with more combat drones with missile launching capabilities.
In WW2, the Allied D-day invasion landed over 132,000 soldiers to outnumber the German defenders by 3 to 1. The Allies suffered up to 10,000 casualties on D-Day. The Allies hit the beaches with soldiers that usually had one year to three years of constant combat experience. The US troops had about a year in North Africa and the British troops had been fighting longer. It would be a slaughter for China to have troops go from zero military conflict in the last 40 years and then dial it up to eleven for a military difficult challenge. Russia fought smaller wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Georgia and Crimea before going for the larger Ukraine War. Russia’s military is still failing to perform at the larger scale. Organization, training and planning failures are all over the Russian operation. China has a bunch of soldiers and marines who have spoiled only child syndrome.
Taiwan is doubling its Harpoon missile inventory to 500. The Harpoon is considered among the best and most advanced missiles in America’s arsenal. Harpoons are antiship missiles. Harpoon missiles cost about $1.4 million each.
Taiwan has forty new Paladin mobile howitzer artillery. The M109A6 Paladin is capable of firing up to four rounds per minute to ranges of 30 kilometers (16 miles). The US has precision munition upgrades for these guns.
Taiwan is mass-producing domestic land based antiship missiles. The current-model Hsiung Feng II and III missiles and mobile launchers are being deployed from 2022 to 2026. The second phase is the mass production of extended-range (400 km, 240 mile) Hsiung Feng III missiles and mobile launchers from 2023 to 2026.
How many troops can China’s fleet of amphibious landing crafts carry? 25000 total. Mostly 250 each with a few at 800 and 1200. Total of 78 ships. NOTE: China only currently has about 40,000 marines in total. China has been working to increase marines from 20,000 towards 100,000. It could take another 5-10 years to reach that 100,000 marine goal.
How fast are the amphibious landing craft? About 25 knots per hour. Several older ones are slower.
How long will it take them to cross the Taiwan Strait? Three hours or four hours for older ships. Helicopters can cr
Can Taiwan see the dozens or hundreds of ships assembling via real-time satellite? Yes
Three Type 075 landing helicopter dock, 1200 troops and 30 helicopters each. 3600 total
Eight Type 071 amphibious transport dock (LPD), 500-800 troops each. Four helicopters and vehicles. 6400 total
Fifteen Type 072A dock landing ship (LSD), 250 troops each. 3750 total
Ten Type 072III dock landing ship (LSD), 250 troops each. 2500
Three Type 072II tank landing ship (LST), 250 troops or ten tanks. 750 total
Type 073III helicopter landing ship (LSH), 250 troop. 250 total
Eleven Type 074A medium landing ship (LSM), 18 knots (4 hours to cross), 250 troops each. 2750 total
Seventeen other older. Slower but able to carry 250 each. 4250 total.
A total of 78 ships to move about 25000 marines/soldiers.
About 300 Troop transport helicopters. About 30-37 soldiers in each for another 10000.
About 520 attack and recon helicopters.
China can transport about 34000 troops.
China has about twenty Y20 cargo planes. Those planes could deliver maybe 6000 troops or paratroopers.
Taiwan’s Massive Undergroudn Complexes
The Tri-Service Hengshan Military Command Center is the sprawling tunnel facility stretches through the mountain in a line that starts near the Grand Hotel and goes down to the giant Ferris wheel in Dazhi. It was built to defend against China’s growing fleet of ballistic missiles. This hardened nerve center is designed to allow Taiwan’s government (and thousands of military personnel) to live and work for months.
It is linked to a large network of subterranean command posts and military bases around Taiwan and its outer islands.
On the other side of Taipei, buried inside a wet rocky outcropping near the campus of National Taiwan University, lies another tunnel complex, the Air Operations Center. It is known as “Toad Mountain” by Taiwanese air force officers. This facility oversees one of the most robust air and missile defense networks on the planet.
Taiwan has airborne early-warning aircraft, long-range radars, listening posts, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites. Toad Mountain stands constant watch over all of Taiwan’s airspace, ready to scramble fighters or assign surface-to-air missiles to intercept intruders. And, like every other Taiwanese military facility, it has multiple back-ups.
Chiashan or Optimal Mountain is another bunker complex. The base is an entire military city built inside a hollowed-out mountain. Not only does it have space inside for parking, arming, and repairing over two hundred fighter aircraft, it also has its own hospital and multiple gas stations serving jet fuel.
Shihzishan or “Stone Mountain” complex at Chihhang Air Base tunnels can still shelter some eighty aircraft.
Each Taiwanese airbase has large engineering units attached to it with ample stocks of equipment for rapidly repairing runways. They have set records for under three hour runway repair.
In 2012, Taiwan’s new ultra high frequency (UHF) radar system was able to track a North Korean missile and provide the U.S. and Japanese warships with 120 seconds of extra warning time.
SOURCES- Brian Wang analysis, Wikipedia and other sources on ship numbers and missiles costs
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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