First locally-produced submarine ready for testing
Taiwan's first domestically built submarine prototype will begin underwater testing after it launches later this week.
President Tsai Ing-wen will presided over a launch ceremony on Thursday at CSBC's shipyard in Kaohsiung. Huang Shu-guang, who heads the domestic submarine program says the prototype will undergo a harbour acceptance test on 1 October, followed by sea trials.
Huang says it's hoped the prototype, named "Hai Kun," will be delivered to the Navy before the end of next year and at least two domestically developed submarines will be deployed by 2027.
Huang said the first submarine will use a combat system by Lockheed Martin and carry US-made MK-48 heavyweight torpedoes, while later models will possibly be equipped later with anti-ship missiles.
The former Chief of the General Staff also says the main objective of deploying the submarines is to prevent China from encircling Taiwan by blocking the country's access to other locations in the first island chain.