Tag Archives: Taiwan

Taiwan to study building own submarine fleet

Osprey-class coastal minehunting ship

Taiwan Tuesday confirmed it plans to study  the feasibility of building a submarine fleet on its own in a move which  suggests it is running out of patience over a long-stalled US offer to supply  eight of the warships.

The navy hopes to come up with an in-depth report in four years on items  ranging from design and acquisition of equipment, to construction capabilities  and product tests and evaluation, according to a defence ministry statement.

The report will cost around Tw$140 million ($4.7 million) to be financed by  a defence ministry-controlled fund, it said.
“The move is a crucial sign showing that the navy has dropped the idea of  purchasing submarines from the United States and decided to build them at  home,” a naval source was quoted by the Liberty Times as saying.
The paper said an initial naval evaluation report indicated that the  island’s leading shipyard CSBC Corporation had acquired expertise to build the  sophisticated warships.
But Taiwan is still short of critical know-how on development of submarine  fighting systems, sonars and torpedo launch tubes, it said.
In April 2001, then US president George W. Bush approved the sale of eight  conventional submarines as part of Washington’s most comprehensive arms package  to the island since 1992.
Since then, however, there has been little progress as the United States  has not built conventional submarines for more than 40 years and Germany and  Spain have reportedly declined to offer their designs for fear of offending  China.
The Taiwanese navy currently operates a fleet of four submarines, but only  two of them, Dutch-built, could be deployed in the event of war. The other two  were built by the United States in the 1940s.
Tensions between Taiwan and China have eased markedly since President Ma  Ying-jeou came to power on a platform of beefing up trade links and allowing  more Chinese tourists to visit. Ma was re-elected in January 2012.
But Taiwan, which has governed itself since 1949, still sees a need to  modernise its armed forces because China regards the island as part of its  territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. — AFP
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President says”Taiwan needs new submarines”

President Ma Ying-jeou said Monday that Taiwan badly needs a new generation of submarines to beef up its naval fleet.

“Our existing submarines are all very old and need
renewal,” Ma said while meeting with a United States congressional delegation
headed by Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.), chairman of the U.S. House
Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Ma noted that Royce paid a visit to a naval
base in southern Taiwan Sunday and boarded the Guppy-class submarine “Sea
Lion.”

“We acquired that warship more than 40 years ago,” the 62-year-old
president said. “I happened to be serving my mandatory military service in the
Navy at the time, so you can imagine how badly we need to renew our submarine
fleet.”

The congressional delegation headed by Royce visited the Tsoying
naval base Sunday for a briefing and boarded two mine hunters that the U.S.
delivered to Taiwan last year after overhauling them.

Military spokesman
Luo Shou-he said naval authorities took advantage of Royce’s visit to stress
Taiwan’s desire to acquire new submarines to strengthen its maritime
security.

In April 2001, then-U.S. President George W. Bush announced the
sale of eight conventional submarines as part of Washington’s most comprehensive
arms package for the island since 1992.

Since then, however, there has
been little progress in finalizing the deal.

Taiwan now has two
U.S.-built Guppy-class submarines and two Dutch-built Zwaardvis-class
submarines, which were acquired in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Ma told Royce
that Taiwan-U.S. relations were at a low ebb when he first took office in May
2008. At that time, he said, relations across the Taiwan Strait had also almost
come to a standstill.

“I worked proactively to improve the situation
immediately after assuming office,” Ma recalled.

In less than a month
following his inauguration, Ma said, institutionalized cross-strait talks were
resumed to pave the way for normal development of cross-strait
engagements.

At the same time, Ma said, his administration has spared no
effort to restore mutual trust with the United States through a “low-key,
surprise-free” approach.

In October 2008, then-U.S. President George W.
Bush approved an arms sales package worth more than US$6 billion, Ma
said.

Today, he said, Taipei-Washington ties are in their best shape in
more than three decades, and the Taiwan Strait is more stable and peaceful than
it has ever been since 1949, when the Republic of China government moved to
Taiwan.

The U.S. delegation arrived in Taipei Saturday for a three-day
visit as part of a tour to East Asia.

Source – Focus Taiwan

Taiwan’s Navy conducts anti-submarine drill

A Hai Lung diesel-electric submarine (SS-793) emerges from the sea

The latest minehunters added to the Taiwan’s arsenal were shown in public for the first
time as the country’s Navy held an anti-submarine drill Tuesday to highlight its
combat readiness.

The exercise, which was open to the media, simulated an
emergency in which the Navy dispatched a frigate from Tsoying naval base in
Kaohsiung to counter a potential submarine attack by enemy forces.

The Dyihuah frigate — one of six Lafayette-class ships purchased from France in the
1990s — sailed into the Taiwan Strait accompanied by two retrofitted U.S.-made
coastal minehunters deployed to keep the sea free of mines and two
Chengkung-class frigates.

Taiwan received the minehunters last August and
were exposing them to public scrutiny for the first time Tuesday.

An S-2T anti-submarine aircraft was then dispatched to locate the opposing submarine,
followed by an anti-submarine S-70C helicopter sent out to deploy dipping sonar
systems to confirm the location of the submarine.

The submarine was finally pushed to the surface after the S-70C launched a simulated attack by
firing a torpedo, concluding the drill.

Naval officials said the exercise was held to highlight the military’s efforts to stay alert and strengthen combat readiness ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year break in February.

Source – Focus Taiwan

Submarines recommended as way for Taiwan to better deter China

Scott Bates – President of the Washington-based Centre for National Policy (CNP)

Washington D.C., Dec. 20 (CNA) The head of an American think tank suggested Thursday that Taiwan should purchase submarines to strengthen its naval deployment amid the growing military imbalance between Taiwan and China

Taiwan can put pressure on the Chinese armed forces with a stronger naval defense that includes submarines, argued Scott Bates, president of the Washington-based Center for National Policy (CNP), at a panel discussion in which he and two other U.S. scholars shared their observations from a trip to Taiwan in early December.

“It seems this (submarine) is a perfect naval asset for the defense of Taiwan in the protection of freedom and navigation in the Straits, in the South China and in the East China seas. And the current array of submarine forces that Taiwan has is not up to achieving those missions,” Bates said.

Although Taiwan’s policies do not include attacking Chinese civilians, its Air Force and Navy are not currently strong enough to deter China’s People’s Liberation Army, Bates said.

Taiwan’s people may currently be unwilling to spend too much on national defense, which can cost a lot, but Taiwan still has to recognize the military imbalance across the Taiwan Strait, Bates warned.

One of the ways the country’s military wants to address the imbalance is by buying advanced F-16 C/D fighter jets from the United States to bolster its arsenal, but Washington has yet to agree to the sale.

Bates suggested, however, that Taiwan consider other air assets than the more expensive F-16 C/D aircraft.

“I would suggest the Taiwanese consider the development of drone assets as well for the air. I think there are a lot of air assets that they can think about that are not as expensive and so that each year you’re not set up for the idea that if you get this one magic system all will be well,” Bates said.

“I think that other options need to be developed. (That) doesn’t mean you give up on getting those other assets but you look at some new ones as well.”

Taiwan’s Air Force can hardly be compared with that of China, Bates said, but it could put pressure on the Chinese armed forces with a stronger naval defense.

Bates also suggested that the U.S. government provide military training and defensive arms to Taiwan.

Source – Focus Taiwan