US Covert Missile Launcher Touted As Game Changer In Future Taiwan War

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, May 05, 2024 - 07:10 PM

Authored by Kyle Anzalone via,

After the US withdrew from a major nuclear arms treaty with Russia in 2019, the Pentagon began to develop weapons that would have violated that agreement. Such a covert missile has now been deployed to the Philippines as part of the US military buildup surrounding China. The New York Times reports this system to be a covert missile launcher that Washington believes could jeopardize Xi Jinping’s position as president of China.

Capable of firing Tomahawks and other munitions, the Typhon launcher is concealed in a 40-foot shipping container and can hold up to four missiles. The Defense Department first deployed the launchers to the Philippines during war games late last month, after which China accused the US of "stoking military confrontation."

Typhoon system, via US Army

According to the Times, Washington hopes to use the Typhon launchers to protect Taiwan from a Chinese attack. Sources who spoke with the outlet believe that Typhon’s strike power is enough to thwart an invasion of Taiwan and even force Xi from power in Beijing if an invasion fails.

Below is a section of the NYT report which sets a dramatic scene:

Setting squadrons of Chinese amphibious ships packed with troops ablaze in the Taiwan Strait, Pentagon officials believed, would not only protect the de facto independent island but may also make Mr. Xi’s own grip on power within the Communist Party untenable.

Without the legal restrictions of the I.N.F. Treaty, the Pentagon began experimenting with existing assets.

The Typhon launcher would have been banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Signed near the end of the Cold War, the treaty outlawed land-based missiles and launchers with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

Tomahawks have carried nuclear payloads in the past, although the US retired that variant of the missile in compliance with the INF Treaty.

The Times’ Pentagon reporter also notes that the Typhon system could be deployed to the southwestern Philippines for a potential conflict in the South China Sea. Tensions between Beijing and Manila have been rising for several months over dueling claims about sovereignty over reefs in the sea.

The White House has reaffirmed its mutual defense pact with the Philippines, suggesting the Biden administration is ready to go to war with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Washington and Manila are additionally working on an intelligence-sharing agreement that is expected to be finalized this year. This pact, and a raft of other partnerships Washington has formed in the Indo-Pacific, are aimed at fighting a future war with Beijing.