Fri, Dec 08, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Make some unmanned subs

By Arthur Waldron

With respect to the growing Chinese naval threat to Taiwan, seen clearly in submarine development ("Chinese fast developing advanced submarines," Dec. 6, page 8) may I suggest that while continuing to pursue the US submarine purchase, the Ministry of National Defense adopt an approach similar to that they have successfully followed for missiles, with the well-conceived Hsiung Fung series?

Instead of attempting to match large but lumbering Chinese capabilities, why not have the navy focus research and development resources on unmanned underwater systems? This is an area in which Taiwan's technological expertise could produce real breakthroughs.

An unmanned program could be cost effective, and a world leader in a dozen years. Such systems will be if anything more deadly than the conventional submarines China is building, and far more cost-efficient.

Arthur Waldron

Vice President

International Assessment and Strategy Center

Washington

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