President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday announced the establishment of a national ship model testing center in Kaohsiung, saying the move “shows the Taiwanese will to defend their country to the world.”
The indigenous shipbuilding program — one of the Tsai administration’s signature defense initiatives — was conceived to bolster the nation’s military strength and shipbuilding industry, she told an event marking the center’s founding at Kaohsiung Software Technology Park.
Taiwan’s five-decade-old shipbuilding industry is esteemed worldwide for the quality of its ships, which now range from motorboats to large cargo ships and warships, she said after noting the importance of Kaohsiung to the sector.
The capabilities of the industry are developing apace and the results can be seen in the rate at which domestically produced military vessels are put to sea, including coast guard patrol craft and navy ships, she said.
Recognizing that ship model testing is a key link in the chain of shipbuilding, the Executive Yuan last year authorized the creation of the test center as part of the National Academy of Marine Research, she added.
“I have every confidence that the center — which is being planned and organized at the moment — will overcome any and all obstacles to its success,” Tsai said.
The center is to become the nation’s agency that oversees the certification of domestically built surface combatant vessels and submarines, which would save shipbuilding and maintenance costs, she said.
The center’s head office is being constructed on a property belonging to the coast guard in Kaohsiung and is scheduled to be finished in 2025, the academy said.
The center’s missions are to test the performance of ships and submarines, while building a knowledge base for ship model testing, it said.
The center would be staffed by researchers in cooperation with National Taiwan University, National Cheng Kung University and National Taiwan Ocean University, while submarine technology is to be supplied by National Chungshan University, it added.
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