Wednesday, November 29, 2023

With the Hai Kun submarine, Taiwan achieves more than one feat to face the threat from Beijing

Hai Kun submarine , the first Taiwanese-made submarine, gave rise to a national-scale ceremony in the presence of President Tsai Ing-wen who underlined its exceptional nature by declaring that this project was still considered impossible to achieve only a few years ago.

And for good reason ! To give birth to this historic moment for Taiwan, the military, engineers, but also politicians of the island had to take on numerous challenges that seemed inaccessible until then, in order to design and build a submarine capable of competing with the Chinese Navy and the very important submarine and anti-submarine assets that it deploys uninterrupted around the island coveted by Beijing.

Convince the United States to sponsor the program politically

The first mountain that Taipei had to overcome to achieve this result was to convince the United States of its indispensability , starting in 2018, when tensions between Washington and Beijing were far from being at the level that Taipei had to overcome. 'they reached today.

It was, in fact, necessary for the United States to commit jointly with Taiwan to this ambitious program, in particular to support and train Taiwanese engineers in fields and technologies that very few countries dominate.

submarine launch Hai Kun speech President Tsai Ing-wen
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen highlighted the historic nature of the event during the Hai Kun launch.

In addition, the new Taiwanese submarines will have to carry certain technologies, in the field of detection systems or weaponry, with the Mk48 torpedo and the Harpoon anti-ship missile with medium change, which it would have been impossible to hide from Beijing.

In other words, Washington had to help Taipei carry out its project, and to do so openly, which did not fail to provoke the ire of Beijing.

Convince the Europeans of discreet technology transfers, but essential to the design of the Hai Kun submarine

American support was also necessary for a second, equally critical, part of the program, which involved convincing the Europeans of certain technology transfers concerning aspects that American manufacturers, who no longer design or build submarines for. conventional propulsion for more than 50 years, would have been unable to provide.

Unlike the United States, Europeans refuse, in fact, to publicly help the Taiwanese armies, fearing economic reprisals from the People's Republic of China, which has made this threat a valuable tool to militarily weaken the autonomous island.

Type 212 TKMS Italian Navy
The European model to which the Hai Kun is closest is the Type 212 from the German TKMS

It was therefore necessary for the Taiwanese authorities to deploy rare talents of negotiation and discretion, to succeed in convincing the few European industrialists likely to provide the missing technologies to design an effective attack submarine capable of confronting the Chinese Navy. .

LOGO meta defense 70 Military planning and plans | Military Naval Construction | UNITED STATES

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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