TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday (Nov. 24) vowed to protect the nation’s sovereignty at a ceremony marking the start of production on Taiwan’s first domestically produced submarines.
At a facility specifically built for submarine production in the southern city of Kaohsiung, President Tsai described the event as a “historic milestone” for Taiwan’s defense industry, according to CNA. Tsai added that the project also signals the government’s dedication to national defense, in addition to showing the world Taiwan’s commitment to protecting its sovereignty.
Tsai stated that having submarines was vital to developing asymmetric warfare capabilities in Taiwan’s Navy and to deterring enemy ships from surrounding the country.
The first prototype submarine is estimated to cost NT$49.36 billion (US$1.72 billion) and is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2024, with sea trials slated for 2025. State-backed CSBC Corporation, which has been tasked with building the domestic fleet, plans to eventually deliver eight submarines in total, according to Reuters.
The Taiwanese Navy on Sunday (Nov. 22) said that two pieces of equipment required to build submarines had been approved by the U.S. and that contracts had already been signed with the American company that produces them.
President Tsai attends ceremony in Kaohsiung (CNA photo)