A home-grown submarine will cost less than NT$100 billion (US$3.29 billion) to build, according to the local shipbuilder commissioned to plan and design the vessel.
Reports had said that comparable Japanese submarines carried a price tag of NT$100 billion, but the Taiwanese project could be completed for less, CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台灣國際造船) chairman Cheng Wen-lon (鄭文隆) said.
However, Cheng said that much depends on the navy’s demands: Planned crew sizes, mission length and strategic and tactical requirements would all determine the eventual size of the submarine.
Nationally developed ships would be crucial to the company’s future operations, Cheng said, pledging to place the company’s best personnel on the program.
The project is part of a broader initiative to develop a more independent national defense industry.
Cheng has said that CSBC hopes to build its first submarine within eight years and commission the ships within a decade.
Taiwan has long tried to acquire submarines from other nations with little success.
Former US president George W. Bush authorized the sale of eight diesel electric submarines in 2001, but the deal never came to fruition because of political wrangling in Taiwan and questions over whether the US, which did not produce diesel submarines at the time, could actually supply the vessels.