PLA targets Vietnam in S China Sea exercise, US in E China Sea

The People’s Liberation Army Navy last week held large-scale military exercises in the East China and South China seas, according to Sina’s military news web portal.

The targets of the two military exercises were not announced in the PLA press release. Military affairs websites have suggested that the South China Sea exercise is likely aimed at territory within what China calls the “first island chain” — the term the Chinese military uses to refer to the string of archipelagos extending from the Kuril islands south through Japan and its Ryukyu islands, Taiwan and the Philippines — likely in preparation for a potential scenario in which a US aircraft carrier war fleet break through the first island chain. Although this is a reasonable assumption, in a real combat scenario, relying on anti-ship missiles, conventional submarine-launched missiles and air-launched cruise missiles with a range of just 300 kilometers to take on a carrier fleet means that all the warships, planes and submarines would have to penetrate the carrier fleet’s outer defenses and approach its inner defenses to fire their payload. This kind of scenario is hard to imagine playing out in reality, given the naval power of the US. Continue reading

Taiwan develops ‘smart’ munitions against China

Taiwan’s air force will be armed with “smart” munitions before the year’s end that could be used against any Chinese invasion by striking airfields and harbours on the mainland, media reported Saturday.

The new weaponry, developed under a project codenamed “Wan Chien” (Ten Thousands Swords), is scheduled to be carried by dozens of Taiwan’s fighter jets.

The island nation began developing its own smart weapons after the United States – Taiwan’s main arms supplier – refused to sell them guided bombs. Continue reading