Sun, Dec 25, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Military hopes submarine plans attract other nations

Staff writer, with CNA

The military is committed to its locally developed submarine program and once progress is made, it expects other countries to express interest in making submarine deals, Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said on Friday.

Feng said that investing in the research and development of a local submarine involves considerable risk, but added that it might also attract interest from other countries to sell Taiwan arms.

If that scenario plays out, the ministry would decide whether to continue with the program to build submarines or purchase them from overseas, Feng was quoted as saying by Control Yuan member Chen Ching-tsai (陳慶財).

Led by Control Yuan President Chang Po-ya (張博雅), Chen and other Control Yuan members visited the Executive Yuan on an inspection tour earlier on Friday.

Chen, who heads the Control Yuan’s Committee on National Defense and Intelligence Affairs, said at a news conference following the visit that he asked questions about the development of local submarines and fighter jets, as well as military discipline.

Feng said that Taiwan faces great difficulties in procuring arms from other countries and that for the time being, the military remains committed to the local submarine program, according to Chen.

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said that Taiwan already has the ability to build patrol boats and he hopes that the local submarine program would help to upgrade the nation’s ship-building industry and ultimately result in the technical expertise needed to build submarines.

On the issue of military aircraft, Lin said that Taiwan will continue to develop indigenous fighter jets, based on the experience of the locally developed IDF, one of the Republic of China (ROC) Air Force’s three main combat aircraft.

The military launched the local submarine program to replace the ROC Navy’s aging fleet of submarines, the first stage being the completion of a design.

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