Taiwan unveiled its much-awaited first-ever domestically built submarine on Thursday, a significant step in a project to strengthen the island’s deterrence and defence against China’s navy. However, it will not enter service for the next two years.
The diesel-electric submarine, dubbed “Haikun,” cost a whopping $1.5 billion and has yet to undergo tests before deployment. BBC News informed that it will be handed to Taiwan’s navy next year.
A fruit of our self-reliant defense policy and future underwater capacity that guards our waters, Taiwan's first indigenous defense #submarine has been named 'Narwhal' and was christened by President Tsai @iingwen this morning. pic.twitter.com/Qoop7XBGVC
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) September 28, 2023
It’s the first of eight submarines that Taiwan plans on building, per Reuters, and will join two others purchased from the Netherlands in the 1980s.
Tension between Beijing and Taiwan has been high for several decades. Still, the recent pledges to bring the island under China’s control by its President Xi Jinping have given way to many believing that a military conflict is possible. It is now greater than ever before.
Video Credits: WION/ YouTube
Taiwan has lately been working, in collaboration with partners in Washington, to modernize the armed forces in the face of daily military exercises conducted by Beijing.
Asked at a weekly briefing if China thought the new submarine might help Taiwan prevent a naval block by Beijing if China attempted to try one, a spokesperson associated with China’s Ministry of Defense said that Taiwan was over-rating and attempting something impossible, per Reuters.
The Haikun is expected to carry U.S.-built Mark 48 heavyweight torpedoes and use a combat system from the U.S. defence industry central Lockheed Martin.
References: CBS News, CNN, WION
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