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Taiwan planning to build its own submarines.


| 2011
a
World Naval News - Taiwan
 
 
 
Taiwan planning to build its own submarines
 
Taiwan is studying the feasibility of building diesel-electric submarines itself after the United States shelved its procurement request for many years, a local newspaper reported Monday.
The United Daily News cited unidentified military sources as saying that research on submarine building has been launched and that the military is trying to acquire production know-how from abroad.
     
Taiwan is studying the feasibility of building diesel-electric submarines itself after the United States shelved its procurement request for many years, a local newspaper reported Monday.
Hai Lung Class submarine, ROC Navy
(picture: Ministry of National Defense (ROC))

     

The following are excerpts from the local media coverage of the issue:

United Daily News:
The military has commissioned a local shipbuilder to contact a non-U.S. country capable of building submarines for cooperation in building conventional submarines.

After years of negotiations, the military has received a positive initial response. But military sources admitted that enormous efforts are still needed to realize the goal because submarine production involves highly-advanced technological expertise.

In the past few months, the sources said the Naval Shipbuilding Development Center has been very busy studying the blueprint of the country's two Hai Lung-class (improved Dutch Zwaardvis-design) submarines -- the Hai Lung (Sea Dragon) and Hai Hu (Sea Tiger) -- which were acquired from the Netherlands and commissioned in 1987 and 1988, respectively.

Moreover, naval authorities are preparing to send personnel abroad to study production technology or negotiate technology transfers for building pressure-resistant hulls, the most difficult part in submarine production, the sources said.

Initially, the military may start from building small submarines weighing in the hundreds of deadweight tonnages.

Ruling Kuomintang Legislator Justin Chou said he is pleased to see the Ministry of National Defense (MND) willing to develop advanced weapon systems itself.

"I believe both ruling and opposition camps would support the budget plan for the development project," Chou said.

With the United States shunning Taiwan's attempts to acquire diesel-electric submarines, the MND has symbolically appropriated only NT$500,000 (US$17,241.38) for the submarine acquisition project in its 2012 budget bill.

Hsu Chiang, a Chang Jung Christian University professor who once headed Kaohsiung-based China Shipbuilding Corp. (CSBC), said he actively promoted the idea of building submarines locally during his tenure as CSBC chairman.

"While I'm optimistic about the prospects of Taiwan building submarines domestically, the challenges the military faces today may be greater than in the past," Hsu said without elaboration. (Sept. 19, 2011).

Liberty Times:

Taiwan now has only four submarines, including two former U.S. Navy Guppy II-class vessels that began service during World War II, while China packs the firepower of more than 30 subs, some of which are nuclear-powered.

With China's military might continuing to grow, the United States is still unwilling to sell Taiwan advanced F-16 C/D fighters and conventional submarines. Analysts said Taiwan should overcome difficulties to develop cutting-edge weapons on its own. (Sept. 19, 2011). (By Sofia Wu)

from: http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?ID=201109190035&Type=aTOD

 
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