TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will be present as construction begins on Taiwan’s first indigenous submarine at a Kaohsiung shipyard on Nov. 24, the Presidential Office announced Friday (Nov. 20).
Taiwan still operates two submarines manufactured by the Netherlands in the late 1980s, but since then the nation has been unable to find countries willing to sell it the vessels due to pressure from China. The NT$49.36-billion (US$1.72-billion) submarine is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2024, with sea trials scheduled for 2025.
The start of work on the first submarine is such an important milestone that the president has decided to visit the shipyard on the first day, according to presidential spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵). She wants to encourage the nation, its military, shipbuilder CSBC Corporation, and the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) for their efforts, CNA reported.