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U.S. permits sale of key component for Taiwan indigenous submarine project

ROC Central News Agency

12/16/2020 08:40 PM

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) The United States has officially approved an export permit for a key component to Taiwan needed for the ongoing building of the nation's first indigenous submarine, a senior military official said Wednesday.

Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping (張哲平) said during a legislative hearing that Washington notified Taipei on Tuesday it has approved the issue of an export permit for the sale of a digital sonar system to the country.

Acquiring the component represents a major breakthrough for the nation's indigenous submarine building project, he said.

Taiwan's state-run shipbuilder officially began work on the country's first indigenous submarine after a ceremony in Kaohsiung presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Nov. 24.

However, earlier reports said the U.S. had yet to issue export permits for two key components to Taiwan; namely an integrated combat system and a digital sonar system.

Taiwanese military officials previously said they expected to acquire both key technologies in January 2021.

Military sources had told CNA that the technologies Taiwan needed to design and build its own submarines were color coded red, yellow and green, with red denoting technology such as the main diesel engine, torpedoes and missile systems, which Taiwan could not build on its own and would have to rely on foreign imports.

The yellow parts were difficult to obtain but could be made in Taiwan, while the green components were more likely to be made domestically, the sources said.

The two key components are color coded red.

The indigenous submarine project was initiated by the government in 2016 to bolster the country's aging fleet of four submarines with eight new diesel-electric models, the first of which could enter service by 2025.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)


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