By Aiswarya Lakshmi/marinelink.com
2 April 2015
Taiwan's president, Ma Ying-jeou, reiterated Taiwan's determination to push ahead with its domestic submarine program to modernize its fleet and bolster the country's defense capabilities.
Reiterating Taiwan's effort to develop its own home-grown submarine program, Ma said "we have the determination and we are definitely confident that we will achieve the goal of building submarines locally."
"Submarines are the most significant weapon for a country in building naval defense capabilities. The military absolutely needs to acquire (new) submarines," Ma said at a ceremony at which two military vessels — Taiwan's first home-grown stealth missile corvette and a new supply ship — were put into service.
Navy officials yesterday said the Ministry of National Defense will go ahead with its domestic submarine program, and several Taiwanese shipbuilders are seeking collaboration with foreign companies to undertake the work.
Meanwhile, several European companies have expressed interest in working with Taiwanese shipbuilders on Taiwan's submarine program. So far, more than 20 companies from Europe are interested in collaborating with their Taiwanese counterparts on an indigenous submarine program, said Vice Chief of the General Staff Adm. Pu Tze-chun during a hearing of the Legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
Pu said that the Navy has an ultimate goal of building an indigenous submarine in cooperation with local shipbuilders. The overhaul program for the aging training subs could be a first step before a move to build submarines, he added.
Some companies in the United States have also expressed interest in the program, he told lawmakers in response to questions on the issue.