Mon, Dec 04, 2017 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Defense needs quality: military R&D head

The Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology’s core mission is to execute an independent national defense policy, promote the industrial implementation of the results of defense technology research, and play a leadership role in system supply chain integration, institute president Gao Chung-hsing said in an interview with ‘Liberty Times’ (sister newspaper of the ‘Taipei Times’) staff reporters Su Yung-yao, Aaron Tu and Lu Yi-hsuan

A model of a new training jet is displayed at the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology’s stand at the Greater Taichung International Expo Center on Nov. 16.

Photo: Su Chin-fong, Taipei Times

Liberty Times (LT): President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has advocated an independent national defense industry since assuming office. What role does the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology play in independent national defense?

Gao Chung-hsing (杲中興): Since the institute transitioned into an independent administrative institution in 2014, its core mission has been to execute an independent national defense policy to research, develop and manufacture reliable and powerful weapons and equipment that are not controlled by others, and cooperate with the government’s policy by promoting the industrialization of the results of the research and development of national defense technology and act as a locomotive that leads the national defense industry and economic growth.

Independent national defense also requires the expansion of dual-use technologies.

Industrial defense technology is like a pyramid. On the top are systems like the active electronically scanned array radar, the Tien Kung [“Sky Bow”] missile and the Hsiung Feng [“Brave Wind” missiles, which have limited civilian applications.

Next are the subsystems, such as navigation system gyroscopes, which can be applied in missiles, aircraft, cars and even cellphones.

On the next level are such components as high-specification servo valves, computer chips, turbine blades and engines for control systems.

At the bottom are materials that can be applied to basic industries.

Take the titanium technology developed in the research and development of the Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missile as an example: The institute transferred the technology to a civilian company that used it to make golf club heads and now it has a large global market share.

The institute’s core value is to become a research and development unit of the high-tech national defense industry and to play the leading role in system integration, guiding the upstream, midstream and downstream industry teams in entering the international market.

LT: The government has launched a plan to build submarines locally; the institute plays a part in the program. What is the main challenge the institute faces and how will it reach its target?

Gao: The navy is in desperate need of a new model of submarines to increase its sea control and prevention, as well as maritime power projection and counteracting capability.

However, a problem faced by the homegrown submarine program is the difficulty in securing materials and components used for maintenance and repair.

Furthermore, increasing capability is controlled by a foreign output permit. This issue demands actions by government agencies.

The research and development of underwater technology involves watertight pressure hulls and sound fields — very few domestic factories research and manufacture related equipment or components, and materials and components used for maintenance and repair in the past largely came from abroad — which is disadvantageous for laying the foundations of submarine technology.

Unlike guns, artillery and other single-soldier weapons, and missiles and other automatic weapon systems, submarines, surface vessels, aircraft and others are considered passenger carriers, and involve the integration of more factors. When there are people on board, every dangerous situation needs to be considered. This must rely on systems simulations, certification mechanisms and others to guarantee that every situation can be handled.

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