TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A miniature model of Taiwan's future indigenous submarine was unveiled on Thursday (May 9) at a groundbreaking ceremony on a new facility to build and repair the warships presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
One of the notable new features of the submarine, the first prototype of which will be launched in 2024, includes an X-form rudder as opposed to a cross-form rudder. Chow Chi-Ming (周志明), deputy general manager of CSBC Corp. Taiwan, the nation's biggest shipbuilder and contractor for the submarine, told CNA that the X-form rudder is more flexible than the traditional cross-form rudder when maneuvering the ship and has superior reaction speed and performance, making the vessel more agile in the water.
During a speech at the event, Tsai said that although the execution of the project has faced doubt, discredit and even threats, today there is concrete proof that Taiwan is capable of producing its own submarines. She said that national defense is necessary for maintaining peace, and guaranteeing national defense autonomy is her enduring promise.
Construction on the secret facility designed to build Taiwan's indigenous submarines began on Thursday and the structure will be completed by the end of next year, reported Liberty Times. Once completed, the facility will both produce and maintain Taiwan's new arsenal of submarines.
When the facility is completed, it will formally enter the production stage including assembly and testing. The prototype ship is scheduled to be launched in 60 months and completed in 78 months.
According to official budgetary records, the Ministry of National Defense has allocated NT$49.3 billion (US$1.5 billion) for a six-year project to construct a prototype submarine. This year, the ministry has spent more than NT$7.51 billion of that budget on the project, including NT$3.7 billion for the new facility.
Cheng Wen-lon (鄭文隆), chairman of CSBC Corp. Taiwan, said at the event that the first combat submarine will be ready one year after the prototype vessel is finished, reported CNA.