TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – This week Taiwanese Premier William Lai indicated that the United States military and defense industry contractors have agreed to assist Taiwan with its domestic submarine construction program.
Speaking on a radio broadcast Aug. 16, Lai said that things are on track for the expected deployment of a Taiwanese produced submarine by before the year 2030. He stated that things are moving smoothly as the domestic submarine program takes its first steps forward.
Liberty Times reports that the Premier Lai, in relating his discussions with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said that the United States is active in its support and encouragement of Taiwan bolstering its own domestic defense capabilities.
Lai also said that in addition to the domestic submarine program, that there are quite a few other projects, including coast guard and navy patrol vessels, which Taiwan will also begin producing over the coming years.
The report seems to indicate that a U.S. firm may be jointly cooperating with the Taiwanese defense industry manufacturers to provide certain components of the naval vessels, perhaps the designs for engines or weapons components.
The statements come just shortly after the Taiwanese government announced that it would increase defense spending to 2.16 percent of GDP, and that 21.3 percent of the total defense budget would be allocated towards the projects involving the domestic defense industry.