Taiwan This Thursday he presented his first self-developed submarinepart of a program to modernize its armed forces in a moment of high tension with Chinawhich claims sovereignty of the island.
The Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wenhe stated in a speech in the southern city of Kaohsiungwhere the submersible was presented, that the ship will be part of the island’s efforts to “protect Taiwan.”
In 2016, Tsai promoted a plan to build eight self-developed submarines that will join the other four that the island already has.
“It seemed like an impossible task. But, today, a submarine designed and manufactured by the people of our country is already here, before our eyes.“Tsai said, according to statements collected by the news agency CNA.
He added that the submarine will play “an important role in strengthening the Taiwanese navy.”
“No matter how many challenges there are, Taiwan must take this step and let our self-reliant national defense policy grow and flourish.”Tsai said, standing in front of the boat.
The first prototype, called ““Hai Kun”what does it mean “mythical sea creature”, and nicknamed “Narwhal” in English, was presented this Thursday in a ceremony in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.
Cheng Wen-lonpresident of the submarine manufacturer CSBC Corpwhich specializes in military vessels, said the seven-year construction process had the team working around the clock, calling it “a magic weapon in asymmetric warfare”.
Taiwan is expected to launch at least two self-developed submarines by 2027.
The submarine, with a price of 1.53 billion dollarswill use a combat system of Lockheed Martin and will take torpedoes heavy Mark 48 American made.
It will enter sea trials next month and then be delivered to the navy in late 2024.
Its presentation comes at a time of tension between the island and Beijing: last September 18, Taipei reported a record number of Chinese Army raids in its vicinity, with the presence of 103 aircraftwhile on day 11 it detected more than 20 ships around the island.
According to China, the military exercises They aimed to combat the “arrogance” of the “separatist forces“, and warned that he will continue carrying out maneuvers “if the provocations do not stop.”
He Taiwanese Department of Defense assured that these latest Chinese maneuvers were “abnormal”, while the Taiwanese vice president, William Lai, recently stated that “Beijing’s attempts to annex Taiwan have not changed”.
Lai leads the polls to win the next elections presidential election and legislative elections of the island, which will be held on January 13th 2024 to decide the direction of Taiwanese policy towards China, at a time of strong tensions between Taipei and Beijing.
Taiwan has been considered a sovereign territory with its own government and political system under the name of the Republic of China since the end of the civil war between Nationalists and Communists in 1949, but the Chinese regime maintains that it is a rebellious province and insists that it return to the common homeland.
China has about 60 submarinessix of which are from nuclear propulsion and are armed with ballistic missiles, according to el United States Department of Defensea clear numerical disadvantage compared to the fledgling fleet of Taiwan.
But Jiang Hsin-biao of the National Defense and Security Research Institute of Taiwan said that deploying submarines in major choke points, such as the Bashi Channel and the Okinawa Waterway, would be enough to cause problems for China.
“It may disrupt the People’s Liberation Army’s attempt to encircle and attack to Taiwan from the east and the west,” Jiang said, referring to China’s military.
(With information from EFE and AFP)