Monday, May 27, 2024

Taiwan launches its own submarine project; looks to beef its own security

The submarine game is heating up in the East Asia region. While Japan has recently launched the first of the new Taipei -Class submarines, South Korea has also launched its second Doshan Ahn Changho-class (KSS III program) submarine early in November. Not to be left behind, Taiwan has officially announced the start of construction of its domestically-built submarines in an effort to beef up its coastal defenses against any invasion from China.

Under this long-planned submarine program, the democratic island will be building eight diesel-electric attack submarines, which will substantially revamp the indigenous submarines including the two that were constructed during World-War II and given to Taiwan by the United States (US) Navy in the 1970s and the two Dutch-made submarines built in the 1980s.

The first submarine is expected to be completed by 2024.

Taiwan president Tsang Ing-wen has launched the initiative with an aim to boost the island’s defense policy and focusing on preventing an invasion rather than facing its aftermath. 

Along with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, US ambassador in Taiwan Brent Christensen also attended the ceremony.

Taiwan has even purchased several weapons including air-to-ground missiles, a coastal defense missile system, and surveillance drones to prevent the invasion from China

Taiwan has traditionally bought much of its weaponry abroad, particularly from the United States however Past U.S. administrations have also refused to sell attack-focused weapons to Taiwan.

Taiwan has faced difficulties in acquiring submarine technology from other countries for the indigenous submarines due to objections from Beijing and thus took the decision to produce submarines at home.

 After the visit by two top US officials, China has increased its military exercise near Taiwan’s airspace and maritime zones.

The Chinese threat was at the top of Tsai’s mind at Tuesday’s ceremony, during which she said the submarines “will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.”

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