The navy yesterday said that it has commissioned a Dutch company to assist in a program to upgrade its two submarines bought from the Netherlands in the 1980s, but stressed that the program is not related to one aimed at having Taiwan build its own submarines.
The statement was made in response to a report yesterday by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that RH Marine of the Netherlands had been commissioned to carry out system integration as part of the upgrade program for the two Chien Lung-class submarines.
“This will also be helpful for the program to build home-grown submarines,” the article said.
The navy confirmed in the statement that RH Marine is to assist in the integration of platform and electromechanical systems under the retrofit program for the two aging submarines, but it stressed that the Dutch company’s participation in the upgrade program “is unrelated to the domestic submarine program.”
The navy said CSBC Corp, Taiwan is responsible for the design of the vessels for the nation’s indigenous submarine program.
The program is being carried out according to schedule, it added.
CSBC Co and the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology in March signed a memorandum of understanding with the navy to jointly build submarines.
The memoradum divides the project into a design phase and a construction phase, CSBC said.
According to the schedule, the domestically built submarines are to be completed in eight years and should be formally commissioned into service within a decade, CSBC has said.
The navy has four submarines in its fleet: two bought from the US in the 1970s and the two from the Netherlands, bought in the 1980s.
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