Artificial coral reefs help defend Taiwan

Artificial coral reefs help defend Taiwan
Artificial coral reefs help defend Taiwan

Posted on: Saturday, May 13, 2023 – 11:05 am | Last update: Saturday 13 May 2023 – 11:05 AM

Deterring any Chinese invasion of Taiwan is arguably the most important defense problem of the next few decades.

Scott Savitz, a senior engineer at the US Research and Development Corporation (RAND), believes that artificial reefs could help deter China, simply by blocking any potential invading force.

Savitz said in a report published by the “RAND” that if China wanted to occupy the island, it needed to quickly move large numbers of soldiers and equipment through a strait 100 miles long to reach the island itself, despite the opposition of the Taiwanese, and perhaps the American forces.

This requires a seaborne invasion, since the volume of equipment required is far greater than what can be transported by air. In addition, personnel and forces will have access to only a few land sites with adequate water depths for ships and landing craft, as well as suitable vehicular routes for ground forces to exit the landing area.

Savitz says that Taiwan can use a range of systems, such as missiles, bombs, sea mines, and artillery, however, even natural barriers without explosive devices can complement these weapons, and placing artificial reefs near potential landing beaches can help. deterring, or defeating, any Chinese invasion, and also providing environmental and economic gains, all for very little cost.

Any landing craft or landing craft attempting to operate in those areas will run aground or become stuck in the reefs, making them ineffective, immobilized targets, and will impede the movement of any other landing craft or landing craft, and China’s anticipation of such damage and disruption will make them less inclined to attempt an amphibious assault. .

It is possible that China could attempt to bomb the coral reefs in an effort to reduce the dangers they pose to any invading power, however, the bombing would likely result in masses of reefs moving from one location to another, creating new risks in unknown places, and any ammunition not Exploding would also present a danger to Chinese ships passing through.

In addition, bombing the reefs would reveal the potential landing site, and if China tries to avoid tying itself and bombs the reefs in a range of places, it will divert essential firepower and missiles away from other targets that need it, such as the Taiwanese military, during the early days. decisive of the conflict.

In general, compared to the costs of military equipment, coral reefs are inexpensive, and they can remain for decades, perhaps more, without maintenance costs, and for this reason the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking to use artificial coral reefs to help protect coastal military bases, and these reefs can also be attractive to lovers Diving and recreational fishing boats, which stimulates local economies.

Placing coral reefs near Taiwanese landing shores provides a range of gains at a very low cost. These natural barriers will complicate Chinese intelligence preparations and will severely impede any actual invasion. In short, it is possible to say that artificial reefs can help deter China. for any invasion of Taiwan.