MND minister doubts CSBC submarine capability
The China Post news staffThe China Post news staff--The state-run CSBC Corp., Taiwan (台灣國際造船公司) recently claimed that it is capable of building submarines on its own, but National Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) yesterday voiced his doubts that it might be just bold thinking on CSBC's part.
March 15, 2012, 12:20 am TWN
Kao expressed the worry in response to questions raised yesterday morning by Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁芳) at a joint session of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committees of the Legislative Yuan.
At the session, Lin said that CSBC has worked out a plan to build submarines in Taiwan, and that the state-run shipbuilder is confident of building the first Taiwan-made submarine within two years as long as the government can help the firm obtain key technologies.
Lin continued that judging from its existing equipment, CSBC is an adequate shipbuilder and can start with building smaller submarines and then larger ones. The lawmaker stressed that he hoped the Ministry of National Defense would support the initiative of submarines being built domestically.
In response, Minister Kao said that he will dispatch representatives to contact CSBC to evaluate its submarine-building capabilities. He also expressed his worry about CSBC's “muddy and bold.”
But Legislator Lin said that “In this regard, being blindly bold is better than being timid.”
Meanwhile, Chen Fong-lin, vice president of CSBC, said he respected Minister Kao's comment on CSBC's submarine-building plan, but he ironically asked: “Did Kao serve in the Navy in the past? He seemed not.”
Chen said that after visiting CSBC 10 years ago, German submarine experts then concluded that CSBC was capable of building submarines as long as it can win a little technical support and investment, referring to submarine-building blueprints and weapons systems.
Also yesterday, lawmakers also asked the MND to support the state-run Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) by purchasing their advanced training airplanes.
Minister Kao said that whether the defense ministry will purchase the said airplanes from the AIDC will depend on whether the AIDC-manufactured airplanes can meet the performance and specifications required by the ministry.