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Taiwan to continue efforts to acquire diesel-electric submarines

2015/10/14 14:56:45

Taipei, Oct. 14 (CNA) Taiwan will continue its efforts to acquire diesel-electric submarines to replace its aging subs and strengthen the country's naval defense capabilities, the Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday.

During a hearing of the legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Defense Minister Kao Kuang-chi (高廣圻) also said that the ministry has allocated NT$98.2 billion (US$3.02 billion) to cover the procurement of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, Perry-class frigates and the Patriot Advanced Capability missile system, as well as a retrofit program for its F-16A/B fighter jets and other weapons systems.

Meanwhile, the ministry will continue to make efforts to acquire diesel-electric submarines to replace the country's current aging subs, Kao told lawmakers.

According to the defense budget for 2016 sent to the Legislative Yuan in August for approval, the Navy is planning to launch the first phase of the project next year, starting with a design contract, and has proposed a budget of NT$500 million for the first year of the project.

The fisrt stage of the submarine project, spread from 2016-2019, is estimated to cost NT$2.9 billion, the budget plan says.

Taiwan is pushing for an indigenous submarine program, and the ministry has said that it is also seeking help from the United States in this regard.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Elaine Hou)