The navy launched three torpedoes from a submarine in separate training drills held on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5 without any problems, according to People First Party Legislator Nelson Ku (
"The three torpedo tests were all successful. They were launched in deep waters. The results showed the navy did not have any problem while testing torpedoes in deep waters," Ku said yesterday during the first meeting of the legislature's National Defense Committee, quoting unnamed sources.
Ku did not say where the tests took place.
He said the torpedo tests were practice for a second launch -- in two decades -- of a live torpedo from a submarine scheduled for Tuesday off Pingtung County.
"As the navy failed in its last attempt to launch a live torpedo in the Sept. 4 Hankuang No. 19 exercise, the test was launched in coastal waters," he said.
"The different choices of depth of waters for the torpedo tests produced contrasting results," he said, before asking Minister of National Defense Tang Yao-ming (
Tang did not respond to the question. Nor did he confirm or deny Ku's statements about the torpedo tests.
Tang emphasized, instead, that he made a difficult decision regarding the torpedo launch during the Hankuang No. 19 exercise.
"I should have known better than to make the decision. The navy had warned in advance that it might not be a good idea to launch a live torpedo in [coastal] waters off northeastern Ilan," Tang told Ku.
"The torpedo used in the exercise was brought in, along with many others, in the last two decades via a third country from its original manufacturer [Germany]. In those two decades, these torpedoes have never been tested live except in this year's Hankuang No. 19 exercise," Tang said.
* Three torpedoes were launched in separate drills on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5.
* The navy failed in an attempt to launch a live torpedo in the Sept. 4 Hankuang No. 19 exercise.
* Another torpedo test will be conducted on Tuesday off Pingtung County.
* The torpedo used in the Hangkuang exercise was manufactured in Germany and brought in through a third country.