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Taiwan to start construction of first local-made submarine

According to information published by the Taiwan News website on November 2, 2020, Taiwan will start next month the construction of the first local-made submarine. In September 2019, it was announced by the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense has allocated an estimated NT$10.6 billion (US$341.33 million) for a domestic submarine program, but the budget was reported for 2020.


According to information published by the Taiwan News website on November 2, 2020, Taiwan will start next month the construction of the first local-made submarine. In September 2019, it was announced by the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense has allocated an estimated NT$10.6 billion (US$341.33 million) for a domestic submarine program, but the budget was reported for 2020.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Scale model of the Taiwanese Navy submarine project. (Picture source Taiwanese Navy)


In July 2016 Taiwanese Navy has started design work on its domestic attack submarine program, hoping to complete it in 2024. Navy Command Headquarters Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Mei Chia-shu told a legislative committee session: “We plan to complete the design by 2019 and complete the construction by 2024.

In May 2019, Taiwan has revealed a scale model of the country’s first domestically designed and produced diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) for the new shipyard that it will be involved in the construction and the repair of China Navy’s (ROCNs) new submarine force in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

Last year, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense was in consultation with foreign shipbuilders including European, U.S. Japanese and Indian companies having experience in the manufacturing of submarines.

In 2018, the U.S. State Department approved a license to sell submarine-related subsystems to Taiwan which would aid in Taiwan’s plan to domestically produce submarines, but the country was not satisfied with the U.S. defense technology transfers.

In August 2018, Navy Recognition has published news to announce that retired submarine experts from Japan have been invited to Taiwan in September, to train the necessary personnel and present a report on Taiwan’s domestic submarine program. The Japanese experts are said to be retired from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), the two companies that have been building submarines for the Japanese Navy for decades.

The Taiwanese Navy currently operates two Hai Shih-class diesel-electric submarines and two Chien Lung-Class diesel-electric submarines based at the Tsoying Naval Base in Kaohsiung. The Hai Shih (SS-791) was a Tench-Class submarine while the Hai Pao (SS-792) was a Balao-class submarine. Both of these submarines were transferred from the U.S. Navy to Taiwan in 1973. The Chien Lung-Class submarines are modified versions of Dutch Zwaardvis-class vessels.