NEW DELHI: With television cameras rolling to record this moment for posterity, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing Wen cut the ribbon on the country’s first indigenously built submarine leaving no one in any doubt that the Island now has a powerful counter to China’s constant naval intimidation and threats of invasion.
According to the DefenseNews portal, Haikun built at a cost of $1.5 billion, displaces 2,500 tons and is 230 feet long. It has an X-rudder configuration, which makes it ideal for operation in the shallow waters of the Taiwan Strait which are about 50 metres or 165 feet deep.
-Defense News says the US has given the combat management system for the submarine
-Also periscopes, digital sonar systems and auxiliary equipment systems
-The UK allowed the export of around $200 million of submarine parts to Taiwan
-Retired naval engineers from Japan’s Mitsubishi and Kawasaki lent technical support
DefenseNews also quoted a Reuters report of 2021 which named India and six other countries as providing engineers and retired submariners to advise the Taiwanese navy on construction and operations. The Haikun will be followed by seven other submarines that will not only monitor the Taiwan Strait but also guard the island’s northeast and southeast waters from Chinese intrusions. They will give Taiwan an underwater offensive capability it has lacked until now.