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

The more capable a product is in integrating various systems, the higher its value. This part requires continuous investment. Only by applying and enhancing technology can the development of carrier systems be secured.

Constructing the main body of a submarine is not the biggest problem. However, can it have low noise levels, travel at high speeds and ensure that everything is safe? These cannot be achieved in a single step. The final goal needs to be reached step by step.

As the institute has experience in systems engineering, with regard to the construction of homegrown submarines it will continue executing the integration and development of the combat management system, mast system, sonar system, weapons system, communication inside and outside the submarines, data link system, electronic intelligence system and other key technologies.

It will also look for cooperation possibilities with foreign companies to speed up the establishment of independently built submarines.

The institute will also continue to integrate resources from the industry, the government and academia, and use strategic alliances and a national defense supply chain strategy to integrate civilian research and manufacturing technology, and develop civilian production and manufacturing capabilities.

Through this, the institute will lead domestic shipbuilding, aerospace engineering, the information technology industry as well as relevant mechanical, materials and electrical engineering and related industries.

LT: How can the institute aid the development of the technological capabilities and international reach of the nation’s defense industry? What difficulties lie in its path?

Gao: The institute is no longer confined to research and development of weapon systems for the military since its transition to an incorporated administrative agency.

We hope to become a player in the international defense technology industry, and the agency’s vision is to build an internationally competitive research and development team in defense technology.

Customization and systemic integration is the institute’s strong suit, and it has been approached by defense industry giants, such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, for collaboration on projects.

Offering better products and specifications, and lower overhead quotes, and meeting clients’ needs are all factors for competitiveness.

However, the institute should upgrade its production lines and equipment if it wishes to manufacture products on a larger scale and meet clients’ needs.

The institute used to manufacture products with complete disregard for cost. If the global market is an end goal for the institute, operations must take overhead into consideration. Its prices must be competitive. It is a challenge not only for the institute, but also for its subsidiaries and factories in its domestic supply chain.

The defining characteristics of the defense market are that it has a high entry threshold, demands high quality and a long product lifespan, with relatively small orders. There is significant difficulty in breaking into a market and the key to success is to effectively market your wares.

The needs of clients, whether private or state, must be considered for a lucrative entry into any market, and help from political or diplomatic means is always helpful.

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