Washington, May 16 (CNA) Taiwan's military plans to budget US$860million to purchase new Mk54 and Mk48 torpedoes to replace its agingU.S.- and German-made ones, the U.S.-based Defense News reportedMonday.
The weekly said in a dispatch from Taipei that Taiwan's militaryauthorities will procure the torpedoes in phases over a 10-yearperiod.
Of the total budget, US$300 million will be used to buy 600 Mk54lightweight hybrid torpedoes to replace Mk46 anti-submarinetorpedoes, the report said.
In addition, US$160 million will be spent on the purchase of 40Mk48 heavyweight submarine-launched torpedoes designed to sink fast,deep-diving nuclear-powered submarines and high-performance surfaceships.
The Mk48s will replace the existing German-made SUT heavyweighttorpedoes Taiwan acquired along with two Hai Lung II submarines, amodified Zwaardvis-class sub built for Taiwan by the Netherlands.
The report also quoted Taiwanese defense officials as saying thatthe military will set aside US$400 million in preparation for thepurchase of 100 Mk48s to be deployed on eight diesel-electricsubmarines it plans to purchase from the United States.
Although the previous Bush administration approved the submarinesale, the report said, little progress has since been made on thedeal.
(By Zep Hu and Sofia Wu)