TADTE: UCAVs and carrier killers

Quite enjoying the world of Taiwan military aviation on show atthe Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE, which everyonepronounces as ‘TATE’).

The most striking thing by far is the belligerent videos andimages the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense has on display.

A video in the stand of Chung-Shan Institute of  Science and Technology (above) has aTaiwanese F-16 destroying a Chinese warship and ground targets, while a UCAVsimilar to the X-45 or X-47 shoots down an Su-27. UCAVs also fire upon ground and sea targets. They told me this capability would be possible in ten years, but that it’s notaimed at any particular country. It is remarkably similar to a mural displayed by China at last year’s Zhuhai show.

The mural below shows a missile slamming into a ship thatlooks remarkably like China‘sfirst carrier, which happened to have its maiden cruise yesterday. I’m toldthat in Chinese the words read ‘carrier killer.’

“Is that China‘saircraft carrier?” I asked a nearby naval officer.

“No, it is meant more generally than that. We don’t refer toone specific country.”

Perhaps he was referring to Thailand‘s carrier or one of theIndian carriers. Scenarios in which either of those countries were to attack Taiwan are, I fear, beyond my imaginative capabilities. 

Though many western pundits have dismissed China‘s carrier ambitions, Taiwan fears such ships operating to the east ofthe Island. Most of the country’s sea defencesare oriented toward destroying shipping in the Taiwan Straits. Air strikes comingin from the east would greatly complicate the island’s defence. 

Carrier killer.jpg

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One Response to TADTE: UCAVs and carrier killers

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