Thursday, August 18, 2016

Taiwan invests US$15 billion in indigenous defense project - Wendell Minnick

Wendell Minnick
Wendell Minnick
Taiwan is going to invest close to US$15 billion into indigenous shipbuilding projects in an effort to become more independent from changing US policies on defense, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick in Defense News.

Wendell Minnick:
The Taiwanese Navy announced 12 new shipbuilding and force modernization programs covering a 23-year period at roughly $14.7 billion on Monday. This indigenous build effort is part of an overall plan to wean Taiwan off expensive and politically troublesome US defense acquisitions — which often consist of refurbished older platforms — and develop a robust defense industry on the island. 
The projected timeline runs from 2017 to 2040, and programs include a Taiwan Aegis destroyer and frigate, submarine, high-speed minelayer, landing platform dock (LPD), 11 additional stealthy Tuo Jiang-class missile corvette catamarans, and multi-purpose transport. Other programs include more AAV7s, a type of assault amphibious vehicle, for the Taiwanese Marine Corps, underwater swimmer delivery vehicles for special forces, and assorted weapons for special forces. 
Despite the impressive list that includes a wide variety of vessels and systems, orchestrated by the Navy’s Naval Shipbuilding Development Center, the list is considered by some Taiwan defense analysts to be a “Christmas wish list.” As of now, only three of the programs have been officially authorized and funded for construction.
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