The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed the National Defense Industry Development Act (國防產業發展條例), which aims to promote public-private partnerships to produce domestically manufactured weapons, thus helping the nation achieve its goal of defense autonomy.
The act stipulates that companies or organizations that are interested in becoming a supplier of equipment for the military may apply with the Ministry of National Defense.
They would be evaluated and ranked in three tiers based on their technological capability, the size of their operations and their experience in researching, developing, manufacturing and maintaining military equipment, as well as their track record working with academia, businesses or foreign companies, the act says.
The ministry must commission an objective third party when evaluating an applicant, it adds.
Under the act, military equipment would also be classified in three tiers, with first-tier military equipment defined as weapons, ammunition and other military hardware and consumables, as well as the potential for research and development, production or maintenance of such items.
Procurement of first-tier military equipment must be conducted through selective bidding, it says.
The defense ministry and the Ministry of Economic Affairs should help local suppliers make products that equal the specifications of foreign companies, which would make them qualified suppliers and help them expand their overseas markets, the act says.
The ministries should encourage partnerships and mutual investment between qualified local military equipment suppliers and foreign firms, it says.
To promote the production of military equipment under industry-academia-research cooperative programs, the Executive Yuan should designate a dedicated agency to establish an intragovernmental mechanism for the allocation of budget for defense technologies not designated highly sensitive, which would identify key areas of research and development, cultivate talent and monitor budget use, it says.
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