Taiwan launches military test ship

Ship should help speed up development of naval weapon systems

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A new ship for weapons R&D was launched in Yilan Friday (photo courtesy of NCSIST)

A new ship for weapons R&D was launched in Yilan Friday (photo courtesy of NCSIST) (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST, 中科院) on Friday launched a ship which will function as a testing platform for new weapons.

The ceremony took place at the Longde shipyard in Yilan County where the ship, the “Glory Star” (光榮之星) was built, but it will take until the second half of this year before it will start to be used, the Central News Agency reported.

Its aim was to shorten the research and development process for new maritime weapon systems to be produced by NCSIST, the defense developer said. The launch of the new ship was an essential element of the government’s policy to promote locally developed defense products, according to CNA.

The “Glory Star” is an 80-ton ship, is 28 meters long and 8.4 m wide, and should be handed over to the NCSIST by May 31.

Since taking office in May 2016, the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has emphasized the domestic production of weapon systems, especially the need for Taiwan to develop its own submarines, as foreign builders are unwilling to supply them to the island due to pressure from China.