"Taiwan Defence & Security Report 2016" now available at Fast Market Research

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu Apr 14 2016

With President-elect Tsai Ing-wen's independence-leaning administration taking office in May 2016, relations with mainland China have cooled. In comparison to China's People's Liberation Army, Taiwan's military is small in size, and lacks technologically advanced equipment. Compounded by our view that the US is increasingly unlikely to come to Taiwan's aid in the event of military conflict with the mainland, domestic demand for modern equipment is significant and rising, particularly for products such as advanced multi-role combat aircraft, submarines and air defence systems. Taiwan's armed forces are being restructured and professionalised, which eventually will mean that a greater share of the defence budget can be directed towards R&D and new procurement, rather than personnel costs. The domestic defence sector boasts design and development capabilities in a range of segments, however, more technologically advanced military equipment still needs to be imported from the US. Apart from the US, most countries avoid defence exports to, and industry collaboration with Taiwan, in fear of the potential loss of Chinese goodwill . Exports are similarly affected by the island's ambiguous sovereignty status.

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Latest Updates

In January 2016, Taiwan's independence-leaning opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen won presidential elections, with her Democratic Progressive Party in majority in the legislature for the first time in party history - ousting the ruling Kuomintang (KMT). Tsai has stated that she will maintain the 'status quo' in regards to the 1992 'One China' consensus.

In December 2015, in a move that was met with condemnation by Beijing, the Obama administration formally authorised a potential USD1.83bn arms sale package for Taiwan. The package will include: AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles, Perry-class frigates, air defence systems, TOW 2B missiles, ITAS launchers, Javelin antitank missiles and communication systems. The principal contractors of these items are Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Taiwan held its biennial Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) from August 13 to 16 2015. At the exhibition, a range of new and still-in-development technologies and systems were exhibited by domestic players, namely: a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV, the ship-based short-range Sea Oryx Missile System for air defence and a coastal defence turret-mounted rocket system all by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) as well as a surveillance UAV by privately-owned GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology Inc.

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