Today: Saturday, 18 May 2024 year

Taiwan plans to build four of its own submarines by 2027.

Taiwan plans to build four of its own submarines by 2027.

Taiwan expects to complete construction of four of its own submarines by 2027, said Admiral Huang Shuguang, head of Taiwan’s submarine construction program.

“We hope that by 2025 we will be able to complete the construction of three submarines, and by 2027 their number will reach four,” Huang Shuguang said at a briefing, as quoted by the island’s Central News Agency.

According to him, in the future, Taiwanese submarines will be able to perform guard missions not only in the southwestern waters of the island, but also in the southeastern and eastern waters, as well as in the waters between the port of Suao and the Japanese island of Yonaguni. According to the admiral, the main purpose of this is to block the People’s Liberation Army’s access to the “first island chain.”

“Taiwanese, American and other submarines will be able to operate in the southwestern, southeastern, eastern, and northeastern waters off the island,” he explained.

According to Huang Shuguang, the prototype of the first Taiwan-made submarine will be launched on September 28, after which harbor tests (HAT) will begin on October 1, later sea trials (SAT), and the submarine is expected to be delivered to the island’s Navy by the end of 2024.

In May, the chairman of Taiwanese shipbuilding corporation CSBC Corp. Zheng Wenlong told the Central News Agency that work on the construction of the prototype submarine has been carried out around the clock since it began in 2020. After CSBC completes testing of the submarine at the shipyard in September, the company will conduct additional tests in port and at sea before handing over the submarine to the Navy, he said.

The agency clarified that for the seven-year implementation of the project to build a prototype submarine (from 2019 to 2025), Taiwan has allocated 49.36 billion Taiwan dollars (1.6 billion US dollars). It is noted that the island plans to launch its own submarine construction program, which will reduce its dependence in this area.

The Taiwanese government initiated the project to build its own submarines back in 2016 to supplement its aging fleet of four submarines with eight new ones. Two of Taiwan’s four submarines date back to World War II and are used primarily for training purposes; another two, manufactured by the Netherlands in the late 1980s, are in service. However, since then, Taiwan has been unable to find a country willing to sell submarines to the island due to pressure on potential suppliers from Beijing.

The situation around Taiwan worsened significantly after the visit of then-Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to the island in early August last year. China, which considers the island one of its provinces, condemned Pelosi’s visit, seeing in this step US support for Taiwanese separatism, and held large-scale military exercises.

Official relations between the central government of the PRC and its island province were interrupted in 1949 after the Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek, defeated in the civil war with the Communist Party of China, moved to Taiwan. Business and informal contacts between the island and mainland China resumed in the late 1980s. Since the early 1990s, the parties began to contact through non-governmental organizations – the Beijing Association for the Development of Relations across the Taiwan Strait and the Taipei Cross-Strait Exchange Foundation.