2 April 2015
TAIPEI -- Several European companies have expressed interest in working with Taiwanese shipbuilders on Taiwan's submarine program, a senior military officer said Wednesday.
The Navy is assessing these companies' abilities to conduct the project and is discussing with them details of the project, Hsiao said.
Meanwhile, 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.
The Navy has been in talks with domestic shipbuilders on a home-grown submarine program to replace its aging diesel-electric submarines, the officers said, and a design of the submarine is expected to be completed between 2016 and 2019.
In 2001, then-U.S. President George W. Bush proposed selling Taiwan eight diesel-electric submarines, but this was blocked by the Kuomintang-controlled Legislature in the mid-2000s after a budget request was made by the then-ruling Democratic Progressive Party administration in 2004.
Little progress has been made on the project since then, prompting Taiwan to seek its own solution.