Taiwan Is Deploying ‘Cheap’ Minelayers & Their Mines With US Help To Target ‘Expensive’ Chinese Warships


Many in Taiwan and their supporters in the strategic community in the United States seem to favor applying one lesson learned from the ongoing war in Ukraine against China to thwart its aggressive designs on the island nation. That makes the Chinese invasion very difficult and expensive by mining its warships in the Taiwan Strait.

Reportedly, there have been severe Russian naval losses due to sea mines, notably in the Sea of Azov. Sea mines are said to be causing damage even to the merchant vessels in the region. International maritime trade has been impacted, with a fivefold increase in shipping rates from the area.

This lesson has led to the argument that should China decide to invade Taiwan, the landing of its forces on the island can be thwarted or delayed by successfully pre-placed mines in the Strait.

Taiwan Buying Mines From The US

Incidentally, Taiwan is purchasing Volcano mines from the United States. It is also buying M977A4 HEMTT 10-ton cargo trucks worth 180 million dollars that the mine deployment system will be mounted on. These are anti-personnel and anti-tank mines.

The Volcano mine system can deploy 960 anti-personnel/anti-tank mines in an area 1,100 meters long by 120 meters wide, and it can be deployed by truck or helicopter. The prime contractors for sale are Northrop Grumman and Oshkosh Corporation, the manufacturers of munitions and trucks.

In the Indo-Pacific region, South Korea is the other country whose forces use the Volcano mine system for their operations against potential invaders from North Korea. The US sale of Volcano is intended to strengthen Taiwan’s capacity for “asymmetric warfare” in the face of rising tensions with China, which claims Taiwan as its territory and has threatened to take the island by force if necessary.

It is said that the Volcano system would make Taiwan a tough nut to crack, slow down the enemy’s advance and buy the armed forces time to retaliate with concentrated power.

While the Volcano system would strengthen the land defense of Taiwan, similar mines can also fortify the naval defense and make Taiwan less vulnerable to attack, it is argued.

Naval mines could serve as a highly effective method of denying and confining a potential naval adversary’s precious maritime space in a theater to maneuver freely without worry of damage.

These can also tie down considerable naval forces of the adversary in a said region to painstakingly sweep its desired operational waters for mines before deploying units in the sanitized area.

A naval mine may be the cheapest and most passively deployed weapon in any navy’s arsenal. Nonetheless, it is perhaps one of the deadliest in terms of sheer firepower and outsized influence on any theater of combat it is used in.

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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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