The CSBC shipyard, in the port municipality of Kaohsiung, launched the first submarine produced in Taiwan to defend the island against the Chinese threat. The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, participated in the ceremony, congratulating the efforts to give the Taipei Government its first domestically produced submarine.
The ship was launched into the sea to carry out the first real tests, which it passed to the satisfaction of the engineers. This event represents a milestone in Taiwan's capabilities to arm itself without the need for its allies. The submarine, named Hai Kun, is the first of a class that bears the same name. It is planned that a total of eight vessels of this type will be available to the Taiwanese armed forces in the future.
Finally a first look at Taiwan’s Indigenous Defense Submarine. pic.twitter.com/tMaIPl4Pl3
— Jaime Ocon 歐海美 (@JaimeOcon1) September 28, 2023
"In the past, a domestically manufactured submarine was considered impossible, but today we have before us a submarine designed and built by our compatriots," President Tsai Ing-wen said at the launching ceremony, and in statements reported by AP. "Building a submarine is the concrete realization of our resolve to protect our country. Submarines are important equipment for Taiwan's navy to develop asymmetric combat power in terms of strategy and tactics."
The shipyard's roadmap marks early 2025 as the final date for the process of incorporating the submarine into the armed forces. From there, the construction of the following models will begin. By 2027 the second Hai Kun class submarine should be completed.
Given its island status, the submarine is an important piece in the defense of Taiwan. Its main task is to avoid a hypothetical complete naval blockade by China. But before this scenario, the submarine is a deterrence tool.
The Hai Kun-class submarine has a length of 229.6 feet (70 meters) and is powered by a diesel-electric transmission engine. You can go up to 1,300 feet (420 meters) deep underwater. It will carry weapons emplacements with capacity for anti-ship torpedoes.