Recently, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA proposed to sell 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger portable anti-aircraft missiles, related equipment and support at an estimated cost of just over $2.2bn to Taiwan. The US Congress must still approve the deal although it is not foreseen that they will refuse. Even according to DSCA the above will change nothing, “(the sales) would not alter the basic military balance in the region…”
Let us look at another report that I discovered whilst writing Code Name Mel’s Choice, “In fact, the RAND Corporation did, they brought a report out, you can research this as you can with everything I say in my books, that shocked those briefed on it. They stated that as recently as in 1996 the US would have needed 2.1 air wings of between 66 and 72 aircraft each to protect their vassal, Taiwan, from Chinese air superiority. Right? We get that thinking, a MIG-21 is no match for a F-16, F-15 or F-18. But because the Chinese increased their own capabilities so much, the situation turned on its head, by 2003, that number became 10.6 wings, by 2010 you needed 19.6 wings and by 2017, 29.9 wings, 2,000 aircraft. Flatly put, the US don’t have such resources available and probably never will again nor the pilots to fly them. Taiwan is gone. She cannot be defended and mark my words, every country in that region has every reason in the world to worry about China. The RAND Report concluded that the results of their scenario were “staggering.”
Since then the Indian Air Force claimed to have downed a Pakistani Air Force F-16 (which they and the Americans deny) with one of their upgraded MiG-21s, itself shot down. Where did Pakistan get its F-16s from? The story is interesting and came out in Code Name July 27: Most Westerners will not know that numerous aerial engagements took place between the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) and the Soviets during their 1980s Afghan Conflict. That is why the Pakistanis got the then top-notch General Dynamics F-16 from the USA which they are now replacing with a homegrown Chinese / Pakistan fighter. Their elderly MiG-21s could not do the job and they needed better airframes to take the Soviets on. They took Soviet and Afghan piloted fighters on when they crossed into Pakistan to bomb the US supported Mujahedeen. After losing two ground strike aircraft, the Soviets deployed the MiG-23MLD Flogger-K air superiority fighter with look-down/shoot-down capabilities to escort the ground attack fighters. The heat was on with both sides attacking each other at will and without much control from Moscow or Islamabad. The Pakistanis soon lost an F-16 in combat but whether it was shot down by the Soviets as they claimed or themselves with a stray SRAAM is disputed. The F-16 pilot ejected safely. What was worrying and heavily suppressed was the utter failure of the US made Sidewinder SRAAM AIM9L. It turned out to be rubbish – confirmed later when the East German Air Force merged with the West German one – the story of the IRIS-T is explained in Code Name Blue Tang. By the time that the Soviets left, 1989, Pakistan formally credited its F-16 pilots with 10 combat kills during the conflict. The Soviet records confirmed only the loss of three Su-22s, an Su-25 and a single An-26 transport due to PAF efforts. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Pakistan produced excellent pilots that should not be underrated. One, Saiful Azam, holds the record for the most Israeli fighters shot down, 4, by one man whilst “on loan” to the Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians. If you read Code Name One Alpha you will find the PAF valiantly supporting the Taliban in the 1990s with air strikes directed by Pakistani Army Special Forces, also highly rated by us. They played a major part in establishing the feared Taliban Regime, recognising them with Saudi Arabia, who else. We have a picture of Saiful Azam on the website, http://www.georgemjames.com/weapon-systems.html, he is correctly rated as one of the greatest fighter pilots of his era, GMJ.
Part of the new Taiwan arms deal is the supply of 108 Abrams tanks. What does history say about this tank, shot out numerous times in recent conflicts… let us look at Israel’s Merkava tanks, reckoned to be one of the best in the world, taken from Code Name Swan 53: In 2014, Operation Protective Edge took place in the Gaza Strip. This time the updated Merkava tanks did better. They were fitted with the Trophy Active Protection System which intercepted many of the incoming missiles. They also used smoke and moved fast. Infantry protected the tanks, staying further back than usual, unable to use the tank as a shield as was done for a hundred years since the tank first appeared on the Western Front. Because of this, tank hunters changed their tactics using airburst and anti-material rifles to take out the vulnerable sensors. Once the sensors are out it is back to square one, the missiles will get through. The Trophy Active Protection System also tends to shoot at its own infantry and cannot defeat an incoming tank shell. That is its most visible failure. We also know, don’t ask, that will not stop the South African Makopa anti-tank missile but it did enjoy considerable success against the older RPG 29, and, it is claimed, the newer 9M133 Kornet. Trophy was tested by the US Military and will be used as a stopgap measure as they decided to design and produce their own system for obvious reasons - more bribes are to be paid to whomever.
The world leader in active tank defense systems is the Russian Armata T-14 tank’s Afghanit Active Protection System said to be a generation or more ahead of anything that the West can produce, by whom Israel is included. They claim, and we have every reason to believe them, that the Afghanit System will intercept a depleted uranium tank shell and break it up, reducing its effectiveness enough to not penetrate the highly advanced armour. This is not the same as saying the shell will be stopped or deflected. Unless you use lasers, the kinetic energy is just not available, no, this is weakening the shell enough to destroy its penetrating ability. You must keep something in mind here, if the Afghanit Active Protection System goes onto Arab tanks, it will defeat the Israeli / US anti-tank missiles. In such a case, the engaging tankers are doomed.
So yes, who cares about the US supplied equipment to Taiwan? The place cannot be defended military. China is simply too powerful. But guess who has the best anti-tank missile in the world? South Africa, the Makopa, see Code Name Alphabet 32 where it is discussed fully.