Why Taiwan needs submarines
Country currently using ageing Dutch vessels.
Why Taiwan needs submarines – Analysis
By Dean Cheng
In 2001, President George W. Bush’s Administration agreed to a major arms sale to Taiwan. Approved for sale to Taipei were anti-submarine warfare aircraft, anti-ship missiles, self-propelled howitzers, minesweepers, and destroyers. The United States also agreed to help Taiwan obtain new diesel-electric submarines, to modernize the island’s underwater forces. At the time, the Republic of China Navy (ROCN) had two ex-Dutch Zwaardvis-class boats, built in the 1980s, and two ex-U.S. Navy Guppy-class boats built at the end of World War II.
Thirteen years later, Taiwan’s submarine arm still consists of two ex-Dutch submarines and two boats most of whose peers are now museum exhibits. Years of on-again, off-again discussions have not resulted in an actual sale from the United States or any other nation. More seriously, there has also been no movement in facilitating American shipwrights’ and experts’ engagement with their Taiwanese counterparts to allow Taiwan to build its own boats.
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