Latest World News: Lessons from Ukraine: How Taiwan plans to counter China in this
In recent months, an increasingly aggressive China has been sending planes and drone to test Taiwan’s air defenses.
Russia’s Air Defense Forces and Black Sea Fleet intercepted eight Ukrainian drones over the Crimean port of Sevastopol early on Sunday, a Moscow-based official said. “No object, either in the city or in the water area, was damaged,” said Moscow-based governor Mikhail Razvozhayev.
“An attempt by the Kyiv regime to attack an area with civilian infrastructure, including an airport that receives international flights, is a new terrorist act,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram.
KYIV: Ukraine said on Thursday it shot down 20 Russian attack drones and two cruise missiles in a nighttime attack that left at least four people injured in the capital Kyiv. “We have a successful air defense operation,” Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat told state television. “Twenty Shaheds were destroyed —
Ukraine said on Wednesday it shot down 11 Russian drones overnight in a second straight night of attacks on the capital Kiev, as NATO leaders prepared to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Vilnius.
Facing a hugely powerful enemy, Taiwan has completed a study of the tactics used by Ukraine against Russia over the past 18 months, in particular its strategic and effective deployment of drones.
Just months after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war in February 2022, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen had asked her top officials to find out how Ukrainian forces managed to successfully offset the advantages of a much more powerful enemy.
Tsai finally received a 77-page report that gave a clear answer: Drones.
The report, according to Reuters, said Ukrainian forces, “which were previously considered lacking in air supremacy, cleverly used drones to create their own partial air supremacy.”
Drones used for target reconnaissance and strike
In Ukraine, both sides have relied heavily on a wide range of drones for reconnaissance, surveillance and target strike.
According to military experts, even rudimentary adaptations allowing consumer drones to drop grenades and mortar shells have become deadly threats to tanks, artillery, troops and supply dumps.
Airborne ordnance prowled deep in rear areas on both sides, searching for targets as they loitered before launching deadly attacks.
Frontlines became saturated with drones, which were used to improve battlefield awareness without risking the lives of operators, according to a November report from the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Ukraine and Russia have also deployed counter-drone technology, primarily electronically jamming and radar-controlled anti-drone cannons and missiles, according to the report.
These measures resulted in heavy losses of equipment.
Ukraine is currently losing around 10,000 drones per month, according to a report by the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based defense research body.
A lesson for foreign militaries studying the conflict is that drones should be plentiful and cheap, military experts say.
Outclassed by China
Although the 77-page report gave a simple answer, the island nation quickly realized that it was woefully behind China when it came to aerial drones.
Taiwan currently has four types of drones and a fleet of a few hundred.”
Across the narrow Taiwan Strait, the People’s Liberation Army has an arsenal of more than 50 different types of drones, estimated to number in the tens of thousands. These drones range from jet-powered long-range surveillance aircraft to small quadcopters deployed by ground troops.
Unlike Taiwan, China began mass-producing unmanned aircraft long before the Ukraine conflict. The PLA drone development program began in the 1960s, when China developed the Chang Kong-1 (Vast Sky), a radio-controlled unmanned target aircraft adapted from earlier designs supplied by the Soviets.
The impetus for the development of drones comes from above. At the 20th Party Congress in October, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing would accelerate the development of smart, unmanned combat capabilities.
One of the Chinese military’s goals is the potential launch of drone swarms of large numbers of drones powered by artificial intelligence and acting in concert when attacking targets. AI would allow these swarms to fly without humans needing to control every aspect of their flight, threatening to overwhelm a potential enemy.
An arduous task for Taiwan
Clearly outdated, Tsai quickly forged the Drone National Team program, under which Taiwan recruits the islands’ commercial drone manufacturers and aviation and aerospace companies in a joint effort with the military to accelerate the construction of a self-sufficient drone supply chain.
We need to catch up quickly, with thousands of drones, aerospace contractor Max Lo, coordinator of the drone effort, told Reuters.
We do our best to develop drones with commercial specifications for military use. We hope to quickly build our capabilities based on our existing technology so that we can be like Ukraine,” he added.
The goal is to build more than 3,200 military drones by mid-2024. These will include mini-drones weighing less than 2 kg as well as larger surveillance craft with a range of 150 kilometres.
To speed up production, the government for the first time engaged private companies in the research and development phase of an armament program. Thunder Tiger Group, best known for making radio-controlled model aircraft for hobby and commercial purposes, is typical of the type of government-hired companies.
A small drone could blow up a tank worth tens of millions, said Hawk Yang, head of R&D at Thunder Tigers, noting how fast modern warfare is changing with the rise of cheap asymmetric weapons, small arms that can offset expensive large systems.
War in the Gray Zone
As China asserts its claim to Taiwan, it is increasingly deploying drones in a gray area warfare campaign, an almost daily series of daunting air and surface operations it conducts around the island in a bid to test and wear down Taiwan’s defenses.
In late April, the Ministry of Defense in Taipei tracked a Chinese combat drone, the TB-001 Twin-Tailed Scorpion, as the craft completed Taiwan’s first known drone encirclement.
Taiwan’s inability to counter China’s drone arsenal showed up in dramatic fashion in August last year, when the outlying Taiwan-controlled island of Kinmen, less than two kilometers from the Chinese coast at its closest point, was buzzed by Chinese civilian drones.
A video clip first shown on Chinese social media and then picked up by Taiwanese media showed two soldiers throwing rocks at a drone flying near their guard post. Social media posts in Taiwan calling the incident a national humiliation were widely reported in the local press.
(With agency contributions)
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An Overview of Global Events in 2023
In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.
Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.
Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.
Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.
Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.
In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.