Indian colonel breaks down details of Chinese invasion of Taiwan

Indian colonel analyses Chinese PLAN invasion of Taiwan based on satellite images of war games

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(Col. Vinayak Bhat (Retd) photo)

(Col. Vinayak Bhat (Retd) photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A retired Indian Army colonel has presented his analysis of what he believes are Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN's) strategy for invading Taiwan based satellite photos of its war games on the Indian news site ThePrint.

In the article, Colonel Vinayak Bhat says that the PLAN appears to plan on using large Type 072 landing ships and Type 071 landing platform docks (LPD) to ferry its troops to landing zones on Taiwan's beaches. Bhat says that observations of the maneuvers over the years have shown two distinct patterns of landing ship deployments.


(Colonel Vinayak Bhat (retired) image)

First, Bhat said the ships are deployed with their bows and sides turned away from the shore to ensure faster debarkation of landing craft and to evade shore-based fire from Taiwanese forces. Second, he said the ships are deployed in a circular pattern, with the LPD "on one of the flanks with respect to the shore."

He said that given the ships only have short-range air defenses and close-in weapons systems, this circular formation affords more safety from shore batteries and aerial strikes.


(Colonel Vinayak Bhat (retired) image)

As for the landings, Bhat said they would be preceded by aerial reconnaissance, air attacks, and fire from gunboats. He said the aerial reconnaissance would be carried out by Z-8 Super Frelon helicopters aboard the Type 071 LPD and troops and armored vehicles would first hit Taiwan's shores aboard Type-726 Yuyi class LCAC (landing craft air cushion) and possibly Zubr-class LCAC in the near future.

He said the first wave of LCAC would carry Type 08 amphibious vehicles and/or ZBD-05 amphibious fighting vehicles. He added some Type 99 main battle tanks may also be included in the first wave.


(Colonel Vinayak Bhat (retired) image)

After securing the beachhead, the next phase is reboarding. Bhat said that this maneuver by Chinese forces is rarely captured on satellite imagery, but his exclusive images captured the process.

In one photo, five amphibious vehicles were seen lining up to reboard Type 072 landing ships. He said that the training process of reboarding enables better coordination between the ships and the landing groups when seeking to break out from the beachhead.


(Colonel Vinayak Bhat (retired) image)

Bhat said the best way for Taiwan to counter such amphibious landings is to build the country's asymmetric defense capabilities. He suggested the country invest in "better corvettes and high-speed minelayers."


(Colonel Vinayak Bhat (retired) image)

Col (Retired) Vinayak Bhat served in the Indian Army for over 33 years. He was a satellite imagery analyst for more than two decades and served in high altitude areas of J&K and North East. An alumnus of NDA, Pune, he was a mountaineer during his young days, climbing peaks like Stok Kangri and Nun Peak.