International cooperation leading to submarine breakthroughs: Tsai
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) Taiwan has been making breakthroughs in resolving bottlenecks encountered in the design and manufacturing of submarines through international cooperation and other efforts at home, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Monday.
In a speech delivered at the unveiling of a plaque at the Navy Command Headquarters, Tsai said "international friends" have lent their support to Taiwan because they have seen the government's resolve to develop the nation's indigenous defense systems.
Tsai has vowed to build up Taiwan's indigenous defense industry, focusing on submarines, frigates and military aircraft, through technical exchanges with other countries to boost the nation's warfare capabilities.
A source told CNA later Monday that CSBC Corporation Taiwan, (台船), which was commissioned to plan and design the submarines in late 2016, would not rule out the possibility of seeking cooperation with international naval architects to facilitate the project.
The state-owned shipbuilder has also planned to recruit 220 engineers, twice the average number of recruits over the past three years, and have its senior engineers transferred to the project, the source said.
The CSBC has designated two sites for manufacturing submarines, and preparations will be ready by the end of this year and in 2020, respectively, the source said.
Tsai did not give any examples of the "breakthroughs" that have been made in submarine development, but in April the United States Department of State approved the marketing license needed for its domestic manufacturers to sell technology to Taiwan that would help Taiwan develop its own indigenous submarines.
The approval means Taiwan will be able to acquire the technology needed to build such weapons systems as combat systems, torpedoes, and missile systems, he said.
(By You Kai-hsiang and Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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