TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Key technologies necessary for Taiwan’s first indigenous submarine that are unavailable in the country have received the necessary export licenses, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) confirmed Tuesday (March 16).
The project, which saw construction start last November, requires components and technologies that were color-coded green, yellow, and red according to the difficulty of acquiring them. The “red zone” elements cannot be produced in Taiwan and must be imported, opening the country to the threat of interference by China.
However, Chiu confirmed media reports that all necessary export licenses have been acquired for the remaining key components: an integrated combat system from Lockheed Martin and a digital sonar system from Raytheon, the Liberty Times reported.
The U.S. companies would have needed approval from the Biden administration to issue the export licenses. However, Chiu told the Legislative Yuan there is no timetable for the delivery of these systems.
The first indigenous diesel-electric submarine is scheduled to start operations in 2025, and it will be followed by seven others. They will replace the four aging submarines the country received decades ago.
Taiwan has put an emphasis on the domestic development of a variety of weapons systems, from missiles to vehicles, to strengthen its defenses against China’s increasing aggressiveness.