HomeDefenseTaiwan Unveils Indigenous Submarine "Narwhal" Amid Rising China Tensions

Taiwan Unveils Indigenous Submarine “Narwhal” Amid Rising China Tensions

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On September 28, the government of Taiwan debuted its first submarine built entirely on the island. This is the most recent development in the island’s efforts to expand its naval forces as it continues to prepare for what it believes would be an imminent invasion by the Chinese mainland.

The new submarine, given the codename Narwhal, was shown to the public in a ceremony in the port city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. Present at the event was Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen as well as Sandra Oudkirk, the head of the American Institute in Taiwan, which functions as the de facto embassy of the United States on the island.

Taiwan's New Submarine - Narwhal
Taiwan’s New Submarine – Narwhal. Image: Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C.

The Narwhal, which measures 230 feet in length and has a displacement of approximately 3,000 tonnes, is the first submarine to be built as part of Taiwan’s Indigenous Defence Submarine programme. The class will consist of eight submarines, each of which will be able to carry anti-ship torpedoes as well as sea mines. Diesel-electric engines propel the submarine and were partly made with technology purchased from the United States and the United Kingdom.

In the 1990s, Taipei offered the United States to purchase eight submarines; however, the United States declined the offer out of concern that it would exacerbate existing tensions with the Chinese mainland.

However, by 2014, the United States government had already agreed to assist Taiwanese designers in developing an indigenously made submarine, and in 2018, the president of the United States at the time, Donald Trump, approved the necessary technology transfers. These transfers included MK-48 Mod6 torpedoes and reportedly a version of the AN/BYG-1 submarine combat management system used in US nuclear-powered attack subs.

Taiwan currently possesses four operational submarines, two of which are of the Tench class, built by the United States in the late 1940s, and two of which are of the Zwaardvis class, built by the Netherlands in the 1980s.

Frontier India News Network
Frontier India News Networkhttps://frontierindia.com/briefs
Frontier India News Network is the in-house news collection and distribution agency.

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