Military Trends, Technology, and International Developments > Dissent & Breakaway Regions

PAVE PAWS @ Taiwan


Taiwan’s Massive, Mega-Powerful Radar System Is Finally Operational

THIS WEIRD, SLOPED 10-story green building gives the tiny island nation of Taiwan something that it’s wanted for 15 years: early warning of ballistic missiles and warplanes launched from over 3,000 miles away.

For Taiwan, it’s a must-have. Neighboring China has over a thousand ballistic and cruise missiles pointed at it. Once launched, the missiles will slam onto the breakaway Chinese province within 10 minutes. Taiwan needs as much early warning as humanly possible if those missiles ever reach the air.

This 105-foot system is about as advanced as early-warning radar arrays get. Known as PAVE PAWS, for Phased Array Warning System, the slopes of the building shown above are huge antennas built into the facade. Unlike a mechanical antenna, you don’t have to physically aim a phased-array early warning system, as its “beam steering” is done electronically. The system creates a 240-degree virtual eye, allowing Taiwan to see deep into China, and even into Japan and North Korea. Only a handful of countries — the U.S., Russia, maybe China itself — have this kind of early-warning system.

It’s very, very valuable to Taiwan. Constructed on the top of a mountain in the country’s north, the Raytheon-built system cost approximately $1.4 billion.

< Edited >


A Dossier on the Pave Paws Radar Installation
on Leshan, Taiwan
24.499 N, 121.072 E

Missile Defense Radar Fielded in Taiwan
Feb. 4, 2013

A $1.4 billion missile defense radar has been activated in Taiwan, Agence France-Presse reported on Sunday.

"The radar is able to provide us with more than six minutes' warning in preparation for any surprise attacks," air force Lt. Gen. Wu Wan-chiao said to the news agency. The system, placed high on a mountain in the island state's north, can monitor incoming threats at a distance of up to 3,100 miles.

China is said to have about 1,000 ballistic missiles pointed at Taiwan. It has declared the autonomously governed island to be its territory and has pledged to take military action should Taipei seek full independence.

"The system enabled Taiwan to have comprehensive surveillance controls when North Korea launched a rocket in December and the mainland tested its antimissile system lately," an unidentified armed forces official told the Liberty Times newspaper, discussing radar practice that began near the end of

"Through the sharing with the United States of the information it collects from the radar system, Taiwan becomes a critical link in the U.S. strategic defense network in the region," according to Kevin Cheng, top editor at Taipei-based Asia-Pacific Defense Magazine.



[0] Message Index

Go to full version