Republic of China Army

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Not to be confused with People's Liberation Army Ground Force, the military forces of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Republic of China Army
Zhōnghuá Mínguó Lùjūn
Republic of China Army Flag.svg
Flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Army
Active 1924-present
Country Taiwan Republic of China
Size 130,000 (2008 est.)
Part of Republic of China Armed Forces
Colors Gold & Green
Engagements Northern Expedition
Sino-Soviet conflict (1929)
Long March
Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II
Battle of Baitag Bogd
Chinese Civil War
Battle of Guningtou
Battle of Yijiangshan Islands
Vietnam War
Commander-in-chief ROCA General's Flag.svg Gen. Yen Teh-fa[1]
Deputy Commander-in-chief ROCA Lieutenant General's Flag.svg Lt. Gen. Wang Hsing-wei (王興尉)
Deputy Commander-in-chief ROCA Lieutenant General's Flag.svg Lt. Gen. Wu You-ming (吳有明)
Emblem Republic of China Army (ROCA) Logo.svg
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; Chinese: 中華民國陸軍; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó Lùjūn) is the largest branch of the armed forces of the Republic of China. An estimated 80% of the ROC Army is located on Taiwan, while the remainder are stationed on the smaller islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu.

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.


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.[2][3][4] 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.[5]

  • Army General Headquarters (陸軍司令部)
The ROC Army GHQ is headed by a 3-star general and is responsible for overall command of all ROC Army assets. Army GHQ is subordinate to the General Staff (military), the Minister of 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.
  • 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 Kinman, 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)
  • 6th Army Corps (第六軍團指揮部): Northern Taiwan
  • Guandu Area Command
  • Lanyang Area Command
  • 269 Mechanized Infantry Brigade
  • 542 Armor Brigade
  • 584 Armor Brigade
  • 21 Artillery Command
  • 53 Engineer Group
  • 73 Signals Group
  • 33 Chemical Warfare Group
  • 8th Army Corps (第八軍團指揮部): Southern Taiwan
  • 333 Mechanized Infantry Brigade
  • 564 Armor Brigade
  • 43 Artillery Command
  • 54 Engineer Group
  • 75 Signals Group
  • 39 Chemical Warfare Group
ROC Military Police Special Forces disembarking from a UH-1H helicopter from the ROC Army 602nd Air Cavalry Brigade during a counter-terrorism exercise.
An honor guard stands guard at the National Martyrs Shrine in Taipei.
  • 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)[6]
  • 586 Armor Brigade
  • 58 Artillery Command
  • 52 Engineer Group
  • 36 Chemical Warfare Group
  • 74 Signals Group
  • Hua-Tung Defense Command (花東防衛指揮部): Eastern Taiwan
  • Hualien (花蓮) Defense Team
  • Taitung (台東) Area Command
  • 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 (獅嶼) Defense Team
  • Artillery Group
  • 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.
  • Matsu Defense Command (馬祖防衛指揮部)
  • Beigao (北高) Area Command
  • Juguang (莒光) Area Command
  • 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.
  • Armed Force Reserve Command (後備指揮部)
  • 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.


The Republic of China Military Academy trains officers for the army in a four year program.


The Republic of China Army was founded as the National Revolutionary Army, the armed wing of Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang (KMT) in 1924. 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 1988 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.[7] 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.[4]


The CM-32 Armoured Vehicle, currently under production (mobile-gun platform variant is shown).
An ROCA M60A3 TTS Main Battle Tank.

From the 1990s onwards, the Republic of China Army launched several upgrade programmes to replace out-dated equipment with cutting edge state of the art 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, M109A6 "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 underground 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.

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.[8] 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.[9] It has been reported that the ROC Army will seek new third generation main battle tanks, as the M60A3s are aging. The possible tanks under consideration are the US M1A2, UK Challenger, German Leopard 2A6, French AMX-56 Leclerc and the Israeli Merkava. However it is expected to procure the US M1A2 due to closer military ties.[10]

The U.S. Government announced on October 3 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.[11] and 182 Javelin missiles will also be available with 20 Javelin command launchers and is estimated to cost $47 million.[12][13]

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.[14]

On August 31, 2010, it was announced for next year's defense budget, ROCA plan for next generation MBT has been put on hold, due to lack of budget.[15]

Armoured vehicles[edit]

Vehicle Origin Type In service Notes
M60A3 TTS  United States MBT 480 Some are transferred to ROCMC[16]
CM-11 (M48H)  Republic of China MBT 450 Assembled in Taiwan 1988-1994. Some transferred to ROCMC
CM-12  Republic of China MBT 250 Modified in Taiwan from M48A3[17]
M48A3  Republic of China Medium Tank 50 Received 309 M48A1/A2 in the 1970s, modified in Taiwan to M48A3, 250 upgraded to CM-12 standard[17]
M41  United States Light Tank 775 50 M41D Modified in Taiwan, some M41 are in used by ROCMC
CM-32  Republic of China Eight-Wheeled IFV ~100 In production, first batch of 600, first unit will be 200th MIB in Central Taiwan.[6] 368 vehicles entering service by 2017-2018
CM-21  Republic of China M113 APC Variant 1,000+ Various variants produced from 1982 to 2009. CM-21/A1 personnel carrier
CM-22 mortar carrier for 107mm/120mm mortar
CM-23 mortar carrier for 81mm mortar
CM-24/A1 ammo carrier, can carry either 90 rounds of 155mm or 42 rounds 203mm
CM-25 TOW launcher
CM-26 Command Track
CM-27/A1 Recovery
M113  United States Tracked APC 650 Various variants, including personnel carrier, mortar carrier, ammo carrier, TOW launcher(retired), command and recovery[18]
V-150S  United States Amphibious APC 300 With Southern Army Group, 298th Mech Inf Brigade
AM General Humvee  United States General Purpose Armoured Vehicle 2,000-2,500 Various variants, including to carry local made machine guns and TOW 2A launchers, and others.


Vehicle Origin Type In service
M110  United States 203mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 60
M109A2/A5  United States 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer, some transferred to ROCMC 197/28[19]
M108  United States 105mm Self-Propelled Howitzer 225[19]
M115  United States 203mm Towed Howitzer 90[19]
M59 "Long Tom"  United States 155mm Towed Howitzer 390[19]
M101  United States 105mm Towed Howitzer 650
M1  United States 240mm Fixed/Towed Howitzer 30+, stationed in Kinmen/Quemoy and Matsu
Kung Feng VI  Republic of China 117mm Tracked MRL 72, 24 per Corp[20]
Thunderbolt-2000  Republic of China Wheeled MRL 57 ordered


Aircraft Origin Type In service[4][21] Notes
Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian  United States Attack helicopter 17[22] 12 more in 2014
Bell AH-1W SuperCobra  United States Attack helicopter 61
Boeing CH-47SD Chinook  United States Transport helicopter 9
Bell OH-58D Kiowa  United States Observer/Light attack helicopter 39
Bell TH-67A Creek  United States Training helicopter 30 Training helicopters
AIDC UH-1H Iroquois  Republic of China Utility helicopter Fewer than 40 118 built under licence by AIDC
UH-60M Black Hawk  United States Utility helicopter 4? 60 ordered. Delivery starts 2013

Anti-aircraft weapons[edit]

Platform Origin Type In service Notes
M1097 Avenger  United States Short-Range Air Defense 74 In service with Northern and Central Army Group only, came with 1299 Stingers purchased in the same deal[19]
FIM-92 Stinger  United States Dual Mounted (not shoulder-launched) SAM 116 55 Stinger DMS launchers with 465 RMP rounds, from US Army stockpile and rebuilt/refurbished, sold to Taiwan May 1996 for 80 million.[23] 61 Stinger DMS launchers with 728 rounds, delivered between 1996 and 1998 for 180 million, some transferred to ROCMC[19]
AIM-92 Stinger  United States Air to Air Stinger AIM-92 Stinger 173 Block I, ordered for AH-64D Block III APACHE Longbow Attack Helicopters[24]
MIM-72/M48 Chaparral  United States Tracked short range SAM 40 In service with Southern Army Group only. With 646 rounds of MIM-72F and 302 rounds of MIM-72E/G/J[19]
AIM-9 Sidewinder  United States Air to Air 300 AIM-9S. Carry by AH-1W[25]
M42 Duster  United States Tracked twin 40mm AAA  ?? Still in service with Northern and Central Army Group anti-air units, 1 battalion each.[26]

Anti-tank weapons[edit]

Platform Origin Type In service Notes
M72 LAW  United States Rocket-Propelled Grenade Produced locally as the Type 66
M136  Sweden Anti-Tank Weapon Licence-built in US
APILAS  France Anti-Tank Weapon 1,000 Over 1,000 delivered by 1998
FGM-148 Javelin  United States Anti-tank guided missile 360 and 40 launchers 182 with 20 launchers on order
BGM-71 TOW-2A/B  United States Anti-tank guided missile 3,100+ rounds and 163+ launchers[27] Used by ROC Army and ROCMC on HUMVEE, M-113, CM-25, and on AH-1W and OH-58D helicopters. After 1997, Taiwan purchased 1786 TOW-2A and 290 TOW-2B[28]
Hellfire AGM-114C  United States Anti-Tank Laser Guided Missile 684 Carry by AH-1W and OH-58D[19]
Hellfire AGM-114K3  United States Anti-Tank Laser Guided Missile 240 Carry by AH-1W and OH-58D since 1999
Hellfire AGM-114M3  United States Anti-Tank Laser Guided Missile 449 Carry by AH-1W and OH-58D, ordered 9/2002[24]
Hellfire AGM-114L  United States Anti-Tank MMW Radar Guided Missile 1,000 On order to be carry by AH-64D

Small arms[edit]

Weapon Origin Type Notes
T75K1  Republic of China 9mm pistol Based on M9/Beretta 92
Glock 17  Austria 9mm pistol
USP  Germany 9mm pistol
T51  Republic of China .45 ACP pistol License-produced M1911A1
Uzi  Israel 9mm submachine gun
Type 77 SMG  Republic of China 9mm submachine gun
Calico M960  United States 9mm submachine gun
MP5A5  Germany 9mm submachine gun
Franchi SPAS-12  Italy 12-gauge combat shotgun
M1014  Italy 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun
M16A1  United States 5.56mm NATO assault rifle Limited use only
T65  Republic of China 5.56mm NATO assault rifle
T86  Republic of China 5.56mm NATO rifle & 40mm grenade launcher Evaluation Only
G36C  Germany 5.56mm NATO carbine assault rifle
AUG  Austria 5.56mm NATO assault rifle
M4A1  United States 5.56mm NATO carbine assault rifle
T91 carbine  Republic of China 5.56mm NATO carbine assault rifle Current standard issue
Type 57  Republic of China 7.62mm NATO battle rifle License-produced M14
M24  United States .308 Win sniper rifle
T93 sniper rifle  Republic of China .308 Win sniper rifle
SSG-2000   Switzerland .308 Win sniper rifle
DSR-1  Germany .308 Win sniper rifle
PSG-1  Germany .308 Win sniper rifle
M82A1  United States .50 BMG sniper rifle
FN Minimi or T75 light machine gun  Belgium 5.56mm NATO squad automatic weapon
T74 general-purpose machine gun  Republic of China 7.62mm NATO general-purpose machine gun Based on FN MAG
M2  United States .50 BMG heavy machine gun
T85 grenade launcher  Republic of China 40mm grenade launcher
MGL Mk-1  South Africa 40mm grenade launcher
Mk-19 Mod 3  United States 40mm automatic grenade launcher Licensed production in Taiwan

Future weapons[edit]

Weapon Origin Type Notes
XT-97  Republic of China 5.56mm NATO assault rifle Designed in 2008 due for service in 2011 for Special forces;[29]
XT-100  Republic of China 6.8mm SPC assault rifle In development;[30]
XT-101  Republic of China 3-in-one assault rifle In development;[31]
MUSR  Republic of China 3-in-one assault rifle In development;[32]
XT-98  Republic of China 7.62mm NATO battle rifle In development;[33]
MSR 9mm  Republic of China 9mm submachine gun In development;[34]
XT-99  Republic of China 9mm machine pistol In development;[33]

See also[edit]

References & notes[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ "Speculative ROC Army ORBAT". Retrieved 2006-03-08. 
  3. ^ "ROC Army". Retrieved 2006-03-08. 
  4. ^ a b c "2004 National Defense Report" (PDF). ROC Ministry of National Defense. 2004. Archived from the original on 2006-03-11. Retrieved 2006-03-05. 
  5. ^ August 12, 2007. Retrieved Sept 16, 2009
  6. ^ a b "ROC Army 602nd Air Cav Brigade 2010 Open Base Exercise In The Rain". Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  7. ^ Roy, Denny (2003). "Taiwan's Threat Perceptions: The Enemy Within" (PDF). Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.  See "Reforming the Armed Forces", page 5.
  8. ^ "Taiwan to Buy Apaches to Counter China Threat". Defense News. 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  9. ^ "Report says Taiwan sold 1 billion rifle bullets to U.S.". Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ The Washington Post |url= missing title (help). [dead link]
  13. ^
  14. ^ "USDA New Release". 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  15. ^ "Next Year Defense Budget Believed To Be Lowest In 5 Years". United Daily newspaper. 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  16. ^ "ROCMC's 66th Brigade Receiving New Tanks". Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  17. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  18. ^ "ROC Army M113 TOW Launchers are phased out into history". Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h "". Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  20. ^ "hojiyi". Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  21. ^ "Aviation & Special Warfare Command". Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  22. ^ Crash destroys Taiwanese AH-64E Apache -, 26 April 2014
  23. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  24. ^ a b "". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  25. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  26. ^ "ROCAF air defense open base". Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  27. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  28. ^ "2 TOW Missiles Missed During Exercise". Retrieved 2010-05-29. [dead link]
  29. ^ "XT-97-Assault-File". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ a b
  34. ^

External links[edit]