Republic of China Army

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Republic of China Army
  • 中華民國陸軍
  • Zhōnghuá Mínguó Lùjūn (Mandarin)
  • Tiong-huâ Bîn-kok Lio̍k-kun (Hokkien)
  • Chûng-fà Mìn-koet Liu̍k-kiûn (Hakka)
Republic of China Army (ROCA) Logo.svg
Emblem of the Republic of China Army
Founded16 June 1924; 97 years ago (1924-06-16) (as the National Revolutionary Army)
25 December 1947; 73 years ago (1947-12-25) (as the Republic of China Army)
Country Republic of China (Taiwan)
TypeArmy
RoleGround warfare
Size130,000 (2019 est.)
Part ofRepublic of China Armed Forces
Garrison/HQLongtan, Taoyuan, Republic of China
Motto(s)忠誠精實
Colors  Gold
  Green
March陸軍軍歌
("Lùjūnjūngē"; "Liu̍k-kiûn Kiûn-kô"; English: "Army Anthem")
Engagements
Commanders
Commander of the ArmyROC Commanding General of Army Flag.svg General Hsu Yen-pu
Deputy Commander of the Republic of China ArmyROCA Lieutenant General's Flag.svg Lieutenant-General Fang Mao-hung
Deputy Commander of the Republic of China ArmyROCA Lieutenant General's Flag.svg Lieutenant-General Wang Hsing-li
Insignia
RoundelRoundel of the Republic of China.svg Roundel of the Republic of China – Low Visibility – Type 3.svg
Flag
Flag of the Republic of China Army.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack helicopterAH-1W, AH-64E
Cargo helicopterCH-47SD, UH-60M
Observation helicopterOH-58D
Trainer helicopterTH-67A
Utility helicopterUH-60M
Republic of China Army
Traditional Chinese中華民國陸軍
Simplified Chinese中华民国陆军

The Republic of China Army (ROCA), also retroactively known as the Chinese Army[2] and unofficially the Taiwanese Army[3] is the largest branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. An estimated 80% of the ROC Army is located on Taiwan, while the remainder are stationed on the Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, Dongsha and Taiping Islands.

Since the Chinese Civil War, no armistice or peace treaty has ever been signed, so as the final line of defense against a possible invasion by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the primary focus is on defense and counterattack against amphibious assault and urban warfare.

Organization[edit]

General Hsu Yen-pu, the incumbent commander of the ROC Army
ROC Army Logistics Command

The ROC Army's current operational strength includes 3 armies, 5 corps. As of 2005, the Army's 35 brigades include 25 infantry brigades, 5 armoured brigades and 3 mechanized infantry brigades.[4][5][6] All infantry brigades stood down and transferred to Reserve Command after 2005.

This update reflects the ROCA order of battle at the conclusion of the Jinjing Restructuring Plan in 2008.

A new type of unit called defense team (守備隊) is being introduced. These are formed by elements of de-activated brigades under each area defense command. The strength of a defense team may vary from one or more reinforced battalions, making it roughly equal to a regiment. The team CO is usually a full colonel.[7]

In the event of war most of the high command would retreat to underground bunkers, tunnel complexes, and command posts.[8]

Republic of China Army Command Headquarters[edit]

The ROC Army CHQ (中華民國國防部陸軍司令部) is headed by a 3-star general and is responsible for overall command of all ROC Army assets. Army GHQ is subordinate to the Chief of the General Staff (military), the Minister of National Defense (civilian) and the ROC President.
  • Internal Units: Personnel, Combat Readiness and Training, Logistics, Planning, Communications, Electronics and Information, General Affairs, Comptroller, Inspector General, Political Warfare.
  • ROC Army Aviation Special Forces Command.png Aviation and Special Forces Command (航空特戰指揮部)
  • 601 Air Cavalry Brigade (original special force battalion assigned transferred back to 862nd Brigade)
  • 602 Air Cavalry Brigade (original special force battalion assigned transferred back to 862nd Brigade)
  • 603 Air Cavalry Brigade (this is a phantom unit, only exists on paper, no manpower, units, helicopters assigned)
  • 101st Reconnaissance Battalion (better known as Sea Dragon Frogman, has a company station in Kinmen, Matsu, 3 in Penghu, and other frontline islands)
  • Special Forces Command (特戰指揮部) In charge of 3 training centers
  • Army Airborne Training Center (大武營「陸軍空降訓練中心」)
  • Army Special Forces Training Center (谷關「陸軍特戰訓練中心」)
  • Army Winter and Mountain Training Center (武嶺寒訓中心)
  • Special Operation Command
  • 862 Special Operation Group (originally 862nd Special Operation Brigade, with 3rd, 4th, and 6th battalion that transferred back from aviation brigades)
  • 871 Special Operation Group (units unknown)
  • Badge of the 6th Army Corpse, ROC Army.png 6th Army Corps (第六軍團指揮部): Northern Taiwan
  • Badge of Guandu Area Command, ROC Army.jpg Guandu Area Command
  • Badge of the Lanyang Area Command, ROC Army.jpg Lanyang Area Command
  • Badge of the 269 Mechanized Infantry Brigade, ROC Army.jpg 269 Mechanized Infantry Brigade
  • 542r.png 542 Armor Brigade
  • 584r.png 584 Armor Brigade
  • 21 Artillery Command
  • 53 Engineer Group
  • 73 Signals Group
  • 33 Chemical Warfare Group[9]
  • Badge of the 8th Army Corps, ROC Army.png 8th Army Corps (第八軍團指揮部): Southern Taiwan
  • 333 Mechanized Infantry Brigade
  • 564r.png 564 Armor Brigade
  • 43 Artillery Command
  • 54 Engineer Group
  • 75 Signals Group
  • 39 Chemical Warfare Group
  • Badge of the 10th Army Corps, ROC Army.png 10th Army Corps (第十軍團指揮部): Central Taiwan
  • 234 Mechanized Infantry Brigade (will receive CM-32 "Clouded Leopard" wheeled IFV beginning of 2011)[10]
  • 586r.png 586 Armor Brigade
  • 58 Artillery Command
  • 52 Engineer Group
  • 36 Chemical Warfare Group
  • 74 Signals Group
  • ROC Army Huadong Defense Command.png Hua-Tung Defense Command (花東防衛指揮部): Eastern Taiwan
  • Hualien (花蓮) Defense Team
  • Taitung (台東) Area Command
  • ROC Army Kiman Defense Command.png Kinmen Defense Command (金門防衛指揮部)
  • Jindong (金東, Kinmen East) Defense Team
  • Jinshih (金西, Kinmen West) Defense Team
  • Shihyu () Defense Team
  • Artillery Group
  • ROC Army Penghu Defense Command.png Penghu Defense Command (澎湖防衛指揮部)
  • 1 Armored Battalion, 1 Armored Infantry Battalion, 1 Armored Cav Battalion, 1 mixed Artillery Battalion.
  • ROC Army Matsu Defense Command.png Matsu Defense Command (馬祖防衛指揮部)
  • Beigao (北高) Area Command
  • Juguang (莒光) Area Command
  • ROCA Dongyin Area Command.png Dongyin Area Command (東引地區指揮部)
  • Logistics Command (後勤指揮部)
  • Education, Training and Doctorine Command (教育訓練暨準則發展指揮部)
  • Republic of China Military Academy, Training & Command Schools, Chemical Warfare Corps, Engineering Corps, Arsenal Development.
  • 9 active infantry brigades, 24 Reserve brigades (Activated only in time of war)

ROC Army's former Army Missile Command was transferred to ROC Air Force in 2006.

Republic of China Army Organization as of 2016

Ranks[edit]

Officers

The rank of Generalissimo was bestowed only once, to Chiang Kai-shek and currently is abolished. Since 2013, the rank of Colonel General(Full general) shall be granted only in wartime.

Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
 Republic of China Army[11]
Taiwan-army-OF-9b.svg Taiwan-army-OF-9a.svg Taiwan-army-OF-8.svg Taiwan-army-OF-7.svg Taiwan-army-OF-5.svg Taiwan-army-OF-4.svg Taiwan-army-OF-3.svg Taiwan-army-OF-2.svg Taiwan-army-OF-1b.svg Taiwan-army-OF-1a.svg Taiwan-army-OF-1.svg
一級上將
It-kip siōng-chiòng
二級上將
Jī-kip siōng-chiòng
中將
Tiong-chiòng
少將
Siáu-chiòng
上校
Siōng-hāu
中校
Tiong-hāu
少校
Siáu-hāu
上尉
Siōng-ùi
中尉
Tiong-ùi
少尉
Siáu-ùi

Ùi
軍校生
Jūnxiào shēng
Pinyin Yījí Shàngjiàng Èrjí Shàngjiàng Zhōngjiàng Shaojiàng Shàngxiào Zhōngxiào Shàoxiào Shàngwèi Zhōngwèi Shàowèi Wèi
Enlisted
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Republic of China Army
Taiwan-army-OR-9.svg Taiwan-army-OR-8.svg Taiwan-army-OR-7.svg Taiwan-army-OR-6.svg Taiwan-army-OR-5.svg Taiwan-army-OR-4.svg Taiwan-army-OR-3.svg Taiwan-army-OR-2.svg Taiwan-army-OR-1.svg
一等士官長
Yīděng shìguānzhǎng
二等士官長
Èrděng shìguānzhǎng
三等士官長
Sānděng shìguānzhǎng
上士
Shàngshì
中士
Zhōngshì
下士
Xiàshì
上等兵
Shàngděngbīng
一等兵
Yīděngbīng
二等兵
Èrděngbīng
Pinyin Yīděng Shìguān zhǎng Èrděng Shìguān zhǎng Sānděng Shìguān zhǎng Shàngshi Zhōngshi Xiàshi Shàngděng Bīng Yīděng Bīng Èrděng Bīng

Training[edit]

The Republic of China Military Academy, established in 1924, trains officers for the army in a four-year collegiate course of study, after which they gradtuate with an officer's commission and a bachelor's degree.

History[edit]

An honor guard at the National Martyrs Shrine in Taipei

The Republic of China Army originated from Chinese National Revolutionary Army, which was founded by Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang (KMT) in 1924, when the Whampoa Military Academy was established with Soviet military assistance. Whampoa Military Academy, which was presided by Chiang Kai-shek, was tasked with the objective of training a professional Chinese revolutionary army (革命軍人) to unify China during the Warlord Era. It participated in the Northern Expedition, the Second Sino-Japanese War (during World War II) and the Chinese Civil War before withdrawing with the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949.

After 1949, the ROC Army has participated in combat operations on Kinmen and the Dachen Archipelago against the PLA in the Battle of Kuningtou, and in the First and Second Taiwan Strait Crisis. In addition to these major conflicts, ROCA commandos were regularly sent to raid the Fujian and Guangdong coasts. Until the 1970s, the stated mission of the Army was to retake the mainland from the People's Republic of China. Following the lifting of martial law in 1987 and the democratization of the 1990s, the mission of the ROC Army has been shifted to the defense of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu from a PLA invasion.

With the reduction of the size of the ROC armed forces in recent years, the Army has endured the largest number of cutbacks as ROC military doctrine has begun to emphasize the importance of offshore engagement with the Navy and Air Force. Subsequent to this shift in emphasis, the ROC Navy and Air Force have taken precedence over the ROC Army in defense doctrine and weapons procurement.[12] Recent short-term goals in the Army include acquisition and development of joint command and control systems, advanced attack helicopters and armored vehicles, Multiple Launch Rocket System and field air defense systems. The Army is also in the process of transitioning to an all volunteer force.[6]

During the COVID-19 pandemic Army chemical warfare units were used to disinfect public areas and to do spot disinfections around known disease clusters. In January 2021 the 33rd Chemical Warfare Group was deployed to Taoyuan City to deal with a cluster of infections around a hospital there.[13]

Equipment[edit]

From the 1990s onwards, the Republic of China Army launched several upgrade programmes to replace outdated equipment with more advanced weapons, also increasing its emphasis on forces that could be rapidly deployed and were suited for combat in Taiwan's heavily urbanized environment. Orders were placed with the United States for M60A3 Patton tanks, M109A5 "Paladin" howitzers and AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters, as well as updating existing equipment.

Along with the other ROC military branches, the ROC Army has extensive experience in the construction and utilization of tunnels and bases gained during the People's Republic of China's bombardments of Kinmen and Matsu during the Cold War and many facilities are rumoured to be located underground in undisclosed locations.

The U.S. Government announced on October 3, 2008 that it plans to sell $6.5 billion worth of arms to Taiwan ending the freeze of arms sales to Taiwan. Amongst other things, the plans include $2.532 billion worth of 30 AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III Attack helicopters with night-vision sensors, radar, 173 Stinger Block I air-to-air missiles and 1000 AGM-114L Hellfire missiles.[14] and 182 Javelin missiles will also be available with 20 Javelin command launchers and is estimated to cost $47 million.[15]

On January 29, 2010, US Government announced 5 notifications to US Congress for arms sales to Taiwan. Of the total 6.392 billion US dollars in the 5 announcements, ROC Army will receive 60 UH-60M and other related things for cost of 3.1 Billion.[16]

Helicopters[edit]

ROCA AH-64E 802 and UH-60M 912 in flight over Hongchailin Camp

In July 2007 it was reported that the ROC Army would request the purchase of 30 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters from the US in the 2008 defence budget.[17] In October 2015 it was announced that 9 AH-64E had been grounded due to oxidation of components in the helicopters' tail rotor gearboxes and comprehensive safety checks were made on all Apaches. The 2008 defense budget also listed a request for 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters as a partial replacement for the UH-1Hs currently in service.[18]

Main battle tanks[edit]

An ROCA M60A3 TTS main battle tank

As of 2019, the ROC army has 480 M60A3s, 450 CM11s (modified M48 turrets mated to M60 chassis), and 250 CM12s (CM-11 turrets mated to M48 hulls). The design and technology used in the tanks date back to the 1940s and 1950s, including their 105mm rifled gun and utilizing traditional steel armor plating rather than composite materials used in modern armored fighting vehicles. It is expected that majority of the ROC Army’s armored units would continue to be equipped with legacy tanks in upgraded form after the army acquires the newer modern tanks.[19] As of 2015, some CM11 tanks are observed to be upgraded with explosive reactive armor around the turret and hull.[20]

In October 2017, Taiwan announced an upgrade program for 450 M60A3s consisting of replacing the main gun with a new 120 mm weapon, as well as upgrading the ballistics computer, turret hydraulics, and other systems. Testing and evaluation are expected to be completed in 2019 and application of new features to start in 2020.[21] However, in July 2018 the Ministry of National Defense renewed its interest in acquiring Abrams, and had set aside US$990 Million to purchase 108 M1A2s while modernization of existing M60A3s in service continues.[22]

On June 7, 2019, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed that Taiwan has signed a $2 billion dollar weapons deal with the Trump administration, which includes a purchase of 108 M1A2T (M1A2C export variant for Taiwan) Abrams battle tanks. Taiwanese defense officials intend to use the M1A2T Abrams battle tank to "replace Taiwan’s aging American-made M60A3 battle tanks and the Taiwanese-manufactured M48H CM11 tank".[23][24] On July 8, 2019, The U.S. State Department has approved the sale to Taiwan of new M1A2T Abrams tanks despite People's Republic of China's (PRC) criticism and protest of the deal. The deal includes 122 M2 Chrysler Mount Machine Guns, 216 M240 machine guns, 14 M88A2 HERCULES vehicles, and 16 M1070A1 Heavy Equipment Transporters. General Dynamics Land Systems will build the tanks at Anniston Army Depot, Alabama, and at Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio. The final signing of the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) is confirmed on December 21, 2019.[25] The tanks are the first sale of new tanks for ROC Army in decades from the US. Surplus M1A1 tanks were previously rejected by previous US administrations, including George W. Bush in 2001.[26] Current ROC tanks are used M60A3 tanks and locally manufactured M48 tanks in which the initial variants are first produced in between the 1950s and 1960s.[27][28][29]

Some criticisms were made of these M1 Abrams purchases, some analysts expressed that Taiwan's terrain and some of its bridges and roads are unsuitable for the 60-tonne M1A2. However, Taiwan's current tanks have older 105-millimeter guns that may not be able to readily penetrate the frontal armor of modern People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Type 96 and Type 99 tanks, which can easily penetrate the Patton’s old-fashioned steel armor with their 125-millimeter guns. The M1A2T tank's 120-millimeter gun is capable of destroying PLA tanks without reliance on anti-tank missiles.[30] Moreover, tanks can be used as mobile reserves for counterattacks against PLA beach landings, which was successful during the Battle of Guningtou.[31] ROC Army Chief of Staff, Yang Hai-ming, said that China's best tank, the heavy Type 99 tank, would not be able to be transported in an amphibious invasion during a potential war with Taiwan and the PLA would have to rely on the much lighter 20-ton Type 63A tanks. Due to this logistics issue for the PLA there is less concern about the M1A2T tanks having to deal with China's most modern tanks during an amphibious invasion.[32]

Infantry vehicles[edit]

The CM-32 Armoured Vehicle, currently under production (mobile-gun platform variant is shown)

CM-32 Yunpao, an 8x8 armoured personnel carrier locally manufactured, will replace ageing M113s and V-150 armoured vehicles. It is a modular vehicle platform capable of accepting various configurations for specific combat requirements. As of 2019, an IFV version of Yunpao armed with Orbital ATK 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster II cannons, CM-34, is planned for production.[33] Production of a version with a 105-mm assault gun, which is modeled on that of the CM-11 Brave Tiger main battle tank, is also scheduled to be completed by 2023.[34]

Air defense[edit]

Antelope air defense system

Long and medium range air defense systems are operated by the Republic of China Air Force with the Army assuming much of the SHORAD mission. The most modern air defense system of the Army is the indigenously developed Antelope.[35]

The ROCA is in the process of fielding the Surface-to-Air TC-2 medium range air defense system.[36] Development of a surface launched TC-2 began with the ROCN in 1994.[37]

On June 7, 2019, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed that Taiwan has signed a $2 billion weapons deal with the Trump administration, which includes a purchase of "250 surface-to-air Stinger missile systems."[23] Taiwan's ROC Army already has 2,223 Stinger missile systems.

Artillery[edit]

On September 23, 2019, former Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) confirmed the Republic of China Armed Forces has requested the purchase of M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers from the United States. On August 4, 2021, the Biden administration approved a potential $750 million sale of 40 M109A6 self-propelled howitzers and other supporting equipment, including up to 1,698 kits for precision-guided munitions.[38][39][40][41][42][43]

As of 2019, the ROC Army’s current artillery in service consists of M109A2 and M109A5 systems, 8 inch M110A2 self-propelled howitzers and 155mm M114 towed howitzers. These systems have exceeded their service life with the oldest being the M114, which has been in service for 68 years, while the youngest artillery system, the M109A5, has been in service for 21 years. The last artillery system that entered service is the M109A5s, which are ordered in 1996 and taken delivery in 1998.

ROCA Self-propelled Howitzers Display at ORDC Yue Kang Road

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]