SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Taiwan Media has confirmed that it has received Submarine design offer from several countries which include almost all major United States allies including Japan, India, and Several European countries since the US doesn’t build or operate Conventional submarine also known as Diesel submarines to meet the Taiwanese defense ministry Global request for help in construction of indigenous submarine locally .
Taiwan operates four Submarines in its Navy and only Two Hai Lung (Sea Dragon) class which are over 30 years old are operationally active in its service. Taiwan for last two decades has been trying to acquire new Conventional submarine from abroad but due to aggressive bullying from China, many European Countries have stayed away from offering a direct sale of the submarine to Taiwan which lead to considerable reduction in operational capabilities of the Taiwan Navy to thwart any possible invasion of the country from China .
In 2016 after years of scouting and ending up with disappointments, Taiwan decided to build Conventional submarine locally but asked the United States technology Six critical technology required for submarine construction. In April this year, Washington has agreed to allow US defense contractors to help Taiwan build its own submarines, but the United States has not built conventional submarines for more than 40 years and Germany and Spain reportedly declined to offer their designs for fear of offending China.
Japan and India are only other countries who have considerable experience in construction of conventional submarines locally are also only countries who can afford to take on China due to their ongoing rivalries with Bejing over various disputes.
India under license locally has constructed French Scorpène-class submarines and in 80’s also constructed German Type 209-class submarines for its own Navy by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) State-funded Shipyard and it almost certain that proposal from India came from MDL with a tactical backing of Government of India. While it is still not clear what MDL has offered to Taiwan since both the submarines-Class which was constructed by MDL in India were of foreign origin but it is also likely that India and the United States have brought Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) onboard before a proposal was made to Taipei.
India which has developed its own line of Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines locally and has started working on Hunter-Killer Nuclear-powered submarines on it own has also developed many key submarine systems like Sonars Suite, Torpedoes, Sensors and Air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems locally which could also be offered along with the Submarine design which can be used by Taipei for construction of its own submarine .
An old lovely African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child.’, Taiwan’s Quest for a credible submarine force to take on China’s might with the construction of locally developed submarine might come from various allies it calls a friend who will all chip in with their technology for Taiwan to come up with a submarine which can stand on its own against Chinese Navy.