President Tsai Ing-wen broke ground May 9 on an indigenous submarine production facility in Kaohsiung City, southern Taiwan.
The government is beefing up national defense capabilities to safeguard cross-strait and regional peace and stability, Tsai said. Development of homegrown weapons systems is a core component of this undertaking, she added.
According to Tsai, promoting Taiwan's defense industry also pays dividends in terms of heightened activity in related sectors. No stone will be left unturned in protecting the nation and its 23 million people, as well as creating new opportunities for local R&D talents, she said.
Given Taiwan is an island country, Tsai said, the government is working tirelessly to bolster and integrate the military's asymmetric combat capabilities.
Submarines greatly increase Taiwan's capacity in this regard, Tsai said, adding that deployment of the vessels off the northeastern and southwestern coastlines will deter hostile forces from attempting to blockade or attack the country.
At present, the ROC (Taiwan) navy operates four diesel-electric submarines. The Haihu and Hailung were purchased from the Netherlands and commissioned in the late 1980s, while the Haipao and Haishih are former U.S. Navy boats acquired in the early 1970s.
Under an agreement concluded in March 2017 by the Ministry of National Defense, Taoyuan City-based National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology and Kaohsiung-headquartered CSBC Corporation, Taiwan, the first domestically built submarine is expected to enter service within 10 years.
Tsai said as commander in chief, she will continue leading by example and ensuring Taiwan's armed forces are well-equipped and meet operational standards at all times.
Source: Taiwan Today