The nation’s two World War II-era submarines are undergoing major renovations to upgrade their capabilities, but the Navy and the contractor might dismantle one to gain sub-building experience and study the manufacturing techniques, Minister of National Defense Kao Kuang-chi (高廣圻) said yesterday.
Kao made the remarks in response to questions from legislators yesterday regarding upgrades on the 70-year-old subs.
The upgrades are being undertaken at the Navy’s shipyard and by the China Shipbuilding Corp (CSBC) in Kaohsiung Harbor.
The US-built Hao Si (海獅, sea lion) and Hai Pao (海豹, seal) have been derided as antiques worthy of display in a naval museum.
However, both are still on active duty, a situation that critics contend highlights the nation’s struggle to modernize its submarine fleet, and also accents the navy’s lack of knowledge about new submarine technology.
Kao denied recent news reports that CSBC was looking to cancel its contract for the maintenance and renovation of the subs.
“The work to upgrade the submarines is still ongoing — it was not canceled — but we have to discuss the matter with CSBC to clarify the issues,” Kao said.
The ministry still plans to bolster the navy with new submarines, either purchasing them from foreign nations, or developing an indigenous sub program, he said.
“If we can get assistance and technical support from other nations, then I will support building the submarines ourselves,” Kao said.
Some legislators voiced concern that CSBC lacks experience in the maintenance and repair of submarines and has few qualified technicians, saying that the reassembly of a dismantled sub could be problematic.
Kao replied the major renovations and upgrades are under way, and if CSBC and the naval docks are unable to reassemble the submarines, then one submarine would be refurbished while the other is used to develop insight into the technology involved.
Vice Admiral Shang Jung-chiang (尚永強), assistant chief of staff for logistics at the ministry’s General Staff Headquarters, said CSBC has been reluctant to provide a cost estimate for the tender because of problems with the submarines’ stern and the hull’s oval structure.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
UNCREWED CRAFT: A lack of domestic components and engine outsourcing show the need for Taiwan to develop a local drone supply chain, an analyst said The development of a fully domestic drone manufacturing supply chain is crucial to Taiwan’s ability to use the uncrewed aircraft effectively during wartime, a recent report from the Institute for National Defense and Security Research said. Ukraine’s experience in resisting Russia’s invasion demonstrated that civilian drones can provide valuable intelligence during wartime, but they must be manufactured domestically to ensure that foreign component makers cannot take control of the devices, the report said. In the report, institute researcher Chen Po-hung (陳柏宏) analyzed the security of Taiwan’s drone supply chain. Ukrainians have used civilian drones to locate Russian convoys and other targets, he said,
In the last few days before the local elections on Saturday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it is focusing on 10 regions it considers highly contested areas, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said it is stepping up campaigns across the nation. The DPP considers Keelung, Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, and Maoli, Yilan, Nantou, Penghu, Changhua and Yunlin counties as areas where its candidates are facing fierce competition, a party source said. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) plan to visit those areas again this week, the source said. The night before the elections,
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking