LEGISLATORS ASK U.S. TO GIVE NEW QUOTE FOR BUILDING SUBS
Washington, June 22 (CNA) An ROC Legislative Yuan delegation visiting the United States has made two decisions regarding the submarine procurement plan and requested that the ROC Ministry of Defense pass on these decisions to its U.S. counterpart, a delegation member said Tuesday.
According to Legislator Lee Wen-chung of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the decisions were made after the delegation listened to U.S. defense officials' briefings at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) the same day on procurement of eight diesel-powered subs and 12 P3C anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft.
In the decisions, the legislators requested that the U.S. side adjust the price tag for building the submarines, including building subs with China Shipbuilding Co. (CSC) or building them without the CSC, as well as shorten the delivery date from 15 years to 10 years.
Pointing out that the delegation's request demonstrates its dissatisfaction with the NT$400 billion price tag quoted by the Bush administration for the building of the submarines, Lee said that in Taiwan, there are many different opinions concerning the high price.
Instead of procuring 12 P3C anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft as planned, the legislators hope to make a further study on whether the procurement of eight such aircraft would temporarily satisfy the island's defense needs.
Noting that a newer model anti-submarine aircraft will be produced by the United States by 2013, the delegation said it feels that Taiwan would have a better chance of buying the new aircraft if the procurement eight P3C can satisfy the island's defensive requirements temporarily.
The delegation also listened to briefings by U.S. defense officials the same day on the CISR system, namely an integration of various elements including command, control, communications, computer, intelligence information, monitoring and reconnaissance.
The legislators were scheduled to meet with U.S. scholars and former AIT directors and call on U.S. congressmen later in the day.
Headed by Wang Jin-pyng, speaker of the Legislative Yuan, the delegation is currently in Washington, D.C., to discuss Taiwan's new arms procurement project with relevant U.S. officials.
(By W.C. Lin and P.C. Tang)
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