Why does Taiwan need a strategy to deal with China’s YJ-12 cruise missile?

YJ-12 anti ship missile
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Taiwan needs a new strategy to deal with China’s most powerful supersonic cruise missile YJ-12.

YJ-12 (Eagle Strike 12) missiles deployed in the coastal areas of China pose a direct threat to Taiwan and US aircraft carrier battle groups, posted by Taiwan media.

Said to be China’s deadliest anti-ship missile due to its range and speed, the YJ-12 can be launched from land, air and sea, and has many advantages against air defense systems mounted on US aircraft carriers; According to Taiwan’s Naval Journal last December issue.

“The Taiwan Strait is no longer a natural shield against the Chinese military (PLA) crossing the sea, and there is no Taiwanese warship capable of dealing with YJ-12 missiles”. Due to such military disparity, Taiwan needs to carefully assess its position and try to devise innovative asymmetrical strategies to attack the enemy’s weakness. .”

The article, penned by naval commanders Chen Yi-cheng and Luo Zhen-yu, says that the PLA’s deployment of the missile is inspired by the former Soviet Union’s asymmetric doctrine – which focused on the advantages and characteristics of their military – as a countermeasure to the US aircraft carrier strategy.

“YJ-12 is a combination of Russian and Chinese supersonic missile technology,” the article said, explaining that the missile model is based on the P-270 Moskit supersonic anti-ship cruise missile of the Soviet Union, in addition to the PLA’s state-of-the-art radar guidance system and China-developed Beidou navigation system to increase precision strike capabilities.

The article says that the detection range of the antennas installed on the US Navy’s early warning aircraft is about 320 km, while the YJ-12 missile has a range of over 400 km.

The article adds that, it is almost impossible to intercept a YJ-12 warhead, as it travels at Mach 4 (4 times the speed of sound) and can hit the target within 30 seconds after launch.

Beijing considers Taiwan to be an inseparable province and in need of reunification, even with the use of force.

The PLA believes that the US and Japan will deploy air and naval forces to support Taiwan in the event of an attack, and the YJ-12 missile – designed to attack medium and large ships – can be used in this case; according to former PLA missile force officer, Song Zhongping.

“The deployment of the YJ-12 is to warn the US and Japanese militaries that they may pay a heavy price if they decide to intervene in the Taiwan issue,” Song said.

China’s military currently has 2 million troops, two aircraft carrier platforms, about 355 warships and more than 3,000 military aircraft. While Taiwan has only 183,000 soldiers, about 120 naval ships and more than 700 aircraft.

Taiwan has also developed its own coastal defenses including the Hsiung Feng III (Hung Phong III) supersonic cruise missiles and the authors of the above article argue that Taiwan should deploy them on the front lines along with the Harpoon missiles provided by the USA.

In 2020, the Taiwanese government said that the Harpoon missile had a range of about 125 km and would be a weapon in the service of their asymmetric strategy, capable of defeating PLA warships in the event of an attack.

In another article, author Peng Chih-ling, lieutenant colonel of Taiwan’s ground forces, also detailed some of the response strategies that Taiwan could develop.

These strategies include strengthening coastal defenses that could become PLA amphibious landing sites, expanding submarine fleet development, and deploying a network of precision strike missiles and drones. to attack warships, and strengthen relations with the US, Japan, and other countries in the region.

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