The Taiwanese Navy is purchasing hundreds of specialized sonobuoys from the US to augment its anti-submarine warfare capabilities, a US Department of Defense notice said on Friday.
Under the Foreign Military Sale, Taiwan will acquire 440 AN/SSQ-53F sonobuoys for US$335,000, with work scheduled for completion by January 2014 (as part of the same deal, the US Navy is purchasing 49,900).
Sonobuoys, also known as “listening sticks,” are used to detect and identify moving underwater objects.
The AN/SSQ-53F directional frequency and ranging (DIFAR) sonobuoy — the latest-generation passive sonobuoy used by the US Navy — is dropped from fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters and uses four hydrophones that operate at depths of 27m, 60m, 120m and 300m, as well as digital sound processors, to listen for enemy submarines.
Unlike “active” sonobuoys, which locate objects by bouncing a “ping” off a vessel, passive types gather emissions created by moving underwater objects.
Aircraft can drop a pattern of sonobuoys, which relay information back to the aircraft by radio link to determine the exact location of enemy submarines.
In Taiwan’s case, the sonobuoys are likely to be used on the 12 refurbished P-3C “Orion” marine patrol aircraft it has purchased from the US, which are expected to start being delivered this year.
Sonobuoys are designed to determine the direction from which a signal originates. Through triangulation, a pattern of listening sticks can determine a target’s range, bearing and location.
The operational life of a sonobuoy can be set from 30 minutes to eight hours, whereupon the device automatically scuttles itself.
In November last year, Taiwan also ordered 44 AN/SSQ-36s — ocean thermometers used to establish what is known as the “temperature geography.” Water temperature, which affects sonar propagation and acoustic range prediction, tends to vary depending on depth.
Establishing temperatures before launching sonobuoys, such as the AN/SSQ-53F, can therefore ensure optimal performance.
China has at least 65 submarines in its navy’s undersea forces, with four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), at least five nuclear-powered attack submarines and 56 conventional submarines.
The Type 094 SSBN, which is equipped with the JL-2 nuclear missile and was launched in 2004, has been of particular concern to the international community.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with