President Tsai Ing-wen launched the country’s first domestically made submarine Sept. 28 in the southern city of Kaohsiung, underscoring the success of government efforts to enhance Taiwan’s defense capabilities.
The submarine’s construction was supported by the Ministry of National Defense and carried out by locally headquartered CSBC Corp., Taiwan in partnership with National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, based in the northern the city of Taoyuan.
According to Tsai, submarines are crucial to the country’s endeavors to develop asymmetric combat capabilities, and this craft, called Narwhal, marks a milestone in enhancing the independence and resilience of Taiwan’s national defense. The president said that Narwhal will undergo a series of equipment installation testing and sea trials, adding that the navy is expected to have three combat-ready submarines by 2025, including two existing Chien Lung-class subs procured from the Netherlands in the 1980s.
Homegrown aircraft- and ship-building programs are the current administration’s top priorities, as evidenced by the delivery of 19 Brave Eagle advanced jet trainers over the past few years, Tsai said. She added that such projects help upgrade related industries around the country and create a comprehensive national defense supply chain.
State-backed NCSIST, Taiwan’s primary provider of indigenous weapons systems, is a key player in the government’s five-plus-two innovative industries plan. The initiative fosters development of the biotech and pharmaceuticals, green energy, national defense, smart machinery and Internet of Things sectors, as well as the circular economy and a new paradigm for agricultural development. (YCH-E)
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