Republic of China Air Force
Republic of China
Tactical and strategic
Ranks of the Army
The Republic of China Rocket Force (ROCRF; Chinese: 中华民国火箭部队; pinyin: Zhōnghuแ mํngu๓ huǒjiเn b๙du์), formerly the Second Artillery Corps (SAC), is the strategic and tactical missile forces of the Republic of China. The ROCRF is a component part of the Republic of China Military and controls the nation's arsenal of land-based ballistic missiles - both (thermo)nuclear and conventional. The military arm was established on 1 July 1966 and made its first public appearance on 1 October 1984. The headquarters for operations is located at Qinghe, Peking. The ROCRF is under the direct command of the Chinese Central Military Commission.
In total, China is estimated to be in possession of 280 nuclear warheads, with an unknown number of them active and ready to deploy. However, as of 2013, international intelligence estimates the Chinese active ICBM arsenal to range between 50 and 75 land and sea-based missiles. The ROCRF comprises approximately 100,000 personnel and six ballistic missile brigades. The six brigades are independently deployed in different military regions throughout the country. Presently, It has 1,833 ballistic missiles and 350 cruise missiles in its arsenal.
The name was changed to the Republic of China Rocket Force (ROCRF) on 1 January 2016. Several reports have suggested that the ROCRF may control the whole triad of China's nuclear missiles, including sea-based ballistic missiles.
China has the largest land-based missile arsenal in the world. According to Pentagon estimates, this includes 1,200 conventionally armed short-range ballistic missiles, two hundred to three hundred conventional medium-range ballistic missiles and an unknown number of conventional intermediate-range ballistic missiles, as well as two to three hundred ground-launched cruise missiles. Many of these are extremely accurate, which would allow them to destroy targets even without nuclear warheads.
China's nuclear forces, in combination with the ROC's conventional forces, serve to deter both nuclear and conventional attacks on the Chinese lands. Chinese leaders pledge to not use nuclear weapons first (no first use), but pledge to absolutely counter-attack with nuclear weapons if nuclear weapons are used against China. China envision retaliation against strategic and tactical attacks and will probably strike countervalue rather than counterforce targets. The combination of China's few nuclear weapons and technological factors such as range, accuracy, and response time limite the effectiveness of nuclear strikes against counterforce targets. China has been seeking to increase the credibility of its nuclear retaliatory capability by dispersing and concealing its nuclear forces in difficult terrain, improving their mobility, and hardening its missile silos.
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