Wednesday, 21 September 2011

"Asymmetrical Mindset"

"Yang also stressed that Taiwan cannot produce weapons indigenously for technological or cost reasons and has to buy them from other countries."
I would like to hope some of this is misinformation because, in my opinion, indigenously developed weapons systems are crucial for the defense of Taiwan.


Railguns can launch projectiles at hypersonic speeds of Mach 8 and over - which is way faster than anything the PLA has in its' missile silos. Warheads are, of course, entirely unnecessary. More importantly, the projectiles wouldn't need to have guidance systems built-in like the U.S. Navy is working on*, because the guns would only be used to knock out PLA cruise missiles across the Strait (so a range of 100km or less) - not for hitting moving targets several hundred kilometers away.

If you can knock out cruise missiles, you can knock out anything.

The typical problems raised against railguns (rail erosion and power plant) are probably not intractable - erosion cannot be prevented, but it can probably be retarded by the use of superconducting materials and cryogenic cooling. It would of course still be a major engineering challenge. The power plant issue is not insurmountable, though the batteries required would be massive. Modular construction might help somewhat with concealment.

*Current electronics cannot possibly withstand the G forces of being fired at between 5km/s and 10km/s and that seems to be the major challenge holding back their development for the U.S. Navy.

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