Artillery: Chinese Buildup Continues

April 2, 2008: Taiwan now believes that China has over 1,400 ballistic missiles aimed at them. That's up from 200 in 2000, and 800 four years ago. Most of these are Dong Feng DF-11 and DF-15 models. The DF11 (also known as the M11) has a range of 300 kilometers and carries a one ton warhead. The DF15 (M9) has a range of 600 kilometers and carries a half ton warhead. There are also over a thousand Chinese warplanes and over 100,000 troops (including several brigades of paratroopers) available for an attack on the island. The missiles would use high explosive or cluster bomb warheads, and would basically be bombs that could not be stopped. Well, that's not exactly the case. Taiwan is investing in an anti-missile system that would negate a large number of the Chinese missiles.

If used, perhaps 75 percent of the missiles would actually hit their target (the others would suffer failures in propulsion or guidance systems.) Each missile is the equivalent of a half ton or one ton aircraft bomb. But currently, the missiles have primitive guidance systems, meaning that the warheads will usually hit up to 500 meters from the target. The Chinese are believed to be equipping the missiles with GPS, although the Taiwanese can jam this. Guidance systems that are more difficult to jam are in the works, as this technology has been much sought after by Chinese spies in the United States over the last few years.

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