Update delivered on indigenous trainer, submarine plans

A senior defense official said Wednesday that he hopes plans for Taiwan to build its own submarines and jet trainers will give momentum to a national defense industry.

Mei Chia-shu was briefing the legislative foreign affairs and defense committee on progress in the plans, a key plank of the Tsai Ing-wen administration's policies. On the trainer jets, he said the government would begin to evaluate qualified manufacturers later this month.

Meanwhile, the National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology said that expertise from an upgrade program for the country's current submarines will be helpful in the defense ministry's plans for indigenous submarine development. The institute has been contracted to upgrade the navy's two aging Chien Lung-class subs.

Last month, the institute together with shipbuilder CSBC Corp signed a contract to build submarines for the military. The shipbuilder hopes to see the first of the submarines enter service within ten years.

Military officials also added at Wednesday's committee hearing that the program would still require assistance and technology from the United States.

Source: Radio Taiwan International