Sat, Sep 29, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Groups push local industry at maritime, defense expo

By Hung Chen-hung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Hsiung Feng III missile developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology is displayed at the second Kaohsiung International Maritime and Defense Expo at the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center on Thursday.

Photo: Hung Chen-hung, Taipei Times

Domestic shipbuilders and the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology urged the Ministry of National Defense to prioritize “Made in Taiwan” products to demonstrate its resolve to support the local defense industry.

The call came at the commencement of the second Kaohsiung International Maritime and Defense Expo, which began on Thursday and ends tomorrow at the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center.

The expo, hosted by the Taiwan Shipbuilding Industry Association, featured the Hsiung Feng II and Hsiung Feng III missiles developed by the institute, as well as a mock-up of a ship’s combat information center and operations room.

With more than 450 stalls, domestic participants included the ministry, the Coast Guard Administration, Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Co and CSBC Corp, Taiwan, while foreign participants included Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon Co and other renowned defense industry contractors.

The shipbuilders and the institute said that only when Taiwan can prove that its own equipment is sound, will its equipment stand a chance on the international market.

“The purpose of the expo is to show what domestic shipbuilders are capable of and that we are trying to shorten the gap between the shipbuilding industry, the ministry and the institute,” association chairman Han Pi-hsiang (韓碧祥) said at the opening ceremony.

We hope that the ministry will prioritize local products over foreign imports, he added.

“While the government’s indigenous shipbuilding and indigenous submarine-building programs have caused CSBC stock to soar, we hope that other shipbuilding companies might also be brought in,” Han said.

The industry requires talented people in different fields to revitalize it and prevent it from stagnating, Han said.

Meanwhile, the expo also saw the signing of a contract between the institute, business owners and other universities, which pledged to work on researching and developing marine composite materials.

While composite materials might seem simple structurally, many challenges remain with regard to its applications, institute president Gao Chung-hsing (杲中興) said.

Taiwan should seek to emulate Israel’s defense sector, which has focused on innovative technology since the Six-Day War between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria in 1967, Gao said.

“We hope the ministry will offer opportunities to test domestic platforms and systems, for without such opportunities, Taiwanese platforms will never have the chance to prove their worth,” Gao said.

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