Taiwan to complete first domestic submarine in 2025

A marketing license from the US government will allow the procurement of overseas supplies

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One of Taiwan's submarines built in the Netherlands in the 1980s.

One of Taiwan's submarines built in the Netherlands in the 1980s. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The construction of Taiwan’s first-ever domestic submarine should be completed by 2025 following the spending of NT$49.3 billion (US$1.6 billion) beginning next year, reports said Saturday.

Due to pressure from China, Taiwan has been unable to buy submarines overseas since procuring two from the Netherlands 30 years ago. Under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), plans to start building submarines in Taiwan have been gaining impetus.

As Taiwan has acquired a “marketing license” from the United States Department of State, it means it will have access to parts and technology from U.S. suppliers, including so-called “red area” components, the Central News Agency reported.

Supplies for the construction of submarines are labeled red, yellow or green, with the red area including technology such as the main diesel engine, torpedoes and missile systems which Taiwan is unable to develop on its own.

“Yellow area” parts are difficult to obtain but could be manufactured in Taiwan, while “green area” equipment would not be hard to produce on the island, CNA reported.

In order to safeguard the security of the submarine project, CSBC Corporation, Taiwan (台灣國際造船) is building a closed-off covered factory area.

At present, the process was still in the phase of inviting competitive bids and designs from potential contractors, with the building of the first submarine likely to begin in earnest in 2020, with sea tests planned for 2024-2025, reports said.