The Ministry of National Defense (MND) propounded a special NT$610.8 million budget plan (US$18.23 billion) to procure weapons systems from the US earlier this year and the Cabinet sent it to the legislature for approval in June, but the legislature still had not approved the budget plan by year's end, and the statute governing the purchase due to strong opposition from the pan-blue camp.
The budget is to be spent over the next 15 years. While NT$412 billion would be earmarked for eight diesel-electric submarines, NT$145 billion would be allocated for six Patriot anti-missile systems and NT$53 billion for 12 P-3C maritime patrol aircraft.
The government claimed that the arms procurement was necessary for Taiwan's defense and balance of the military forces between Taiwan and China.
Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
But the opposition camp has questioned the cost as excessive, especially for the submarines.
The opposing voices question the MND's policy to have the submarines assembled domestically, because domestic assembly would cost much more than having the submarines built overseas, yet the domestic assembly policy was originally a resolution made by the Legislative Yuan.