Taiwan To Get Submarines, Ships

Wednesday, April 25, 2001
The U.S. decision to help Taiwan buy eight diesel submarines will be a boon to the island's navy, enabling it to break any naval blockade imposed by its communist rival China. The submarines will also be a big deterrent to a Chinese attack, and perhaps more importantly, analysts say, they will give Taiwan's navy an offensive capability.

"I think the decision to sell us eight submarines is a very exciting development," said military affairs academic and commentator Holmes Liao. U.S. President George W. Bush put off a possible sale of the Aegis naval air defense system to Taiwan on Monday, but offered Taiwan four Kidd-class destroyers, a dozen P-3 "Orion" submarine hunter aircraft and eight diesel submarines built in Europe.

"Having eight subs in the Taiwan Strait will be a big deterrent if the People's Liberation Army ever decides to cross the Taiwan Strait," Liao said. "With submarines, we could impose a naval blockade, blocking Hong Kong or Shanghai. We can't send our fighters or frigates to do that. Submarines can be offensive weapons," he said. Taiwan Defence Ministry spokesman Huang Suey-sheng said: "We must obtain modern weapons for the sake of security in the Taiwan Strait and peace in the Asia-Pacific."

He would not comment on the reported sale. Tyson Fu, director of Centre for Strategic & International Studies at the National Defence University, said the arms sale decision would help maintain a delicate balance of military power in the Taiwan Strait. "We need to have superiority in terms of quality to make up for our disadvantage in terms of quantity. This is how we can maintain a certain kind of balance," Fu told Reuters. Taiwan, armed with U.S. and French fighter jets and frigates, is unlikely to be a pushover in any conventional conflict with China, analysts say. But a naval blockade and the growing number of missiles deployed in Chinese provinces facing Taiwan are the greatest threats to the island.

Taiwan has two Dutch-made Zwaardvis class submarines in active service. Two U.S.-built Guppy-class submarines are World War Two leftovers which were used only for training. Tsai Ming-yen, an associate research fellow of strategic and international studies at the Taiwan Research Institute, said: "Compared to the large number of submarines Communist China has, Taiwan's anti-submarine capabilities are rather weak." China has Russian KILO-class and Chinese-made Sung-class submarines.

"The P-3s (submarine hunter aircraft) and the submarines are just what we need," Tsai said. The four-engine, turboprop anti-submarine aircraft have been used by the U.S. navy for decades and are much better than the obsolete S-2Ts Taiwan currently has, Liao said. The P-3s can fly over large areas of ocean for hours searching for submarines and are equipped with anti-submarine torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship missiles. It was unclear how the United States would provide diesel submarines, which it does not build. Experts have said the submarines would likely be Dutch-designed and German-built boats equipped with U.S. technology, supplied under a deal brokered by the United States. - (Reuters)

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

VIKING LifeCraft Presented at IMO

This week, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment took a step towards gaining approval for the VIKING LifeCraft, its alternative life-saving appliance (LSA) for passenger ships.

MAN Demonstrates Two-Stroke Methanol Engine Concept

MAN Diesel & Turbo successfully demonstrated its ME-LGI concept engine in front of customers and partners at its Diesel Research Center in Copenhagen on March 17th, the company announced today.

Sea Star Continues Puerto Rico Investments

Sea Star Line, LLC has entered an agreement to on-hire another barge to add to its current service package for shipments from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico.   The

Navy

NYC Ferries: Gladding-Hearn Building Three New Vessels

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, has begun construction of the first of three new sightseeing vessels for Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Inc., in New York City.

Warships Shell Houthis Outside Yemeni City of Aden

Warships shelled a column of Houthi fighters and troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh as they tried to advance on the southern port city of Aden on Monday,

China's Air Drills Roil South China Sea Waters

China's air force conducted its first drill above the western Pacific Ocean on Monday, the Defence Ministry said, in a move that could exacerbate tensions with

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2537 sec (4 req/sec)