Defense acquisition by Taiwan

Gestart door Lex, 02/08/2012 | 15:52 uur



Navy officers visit Europe to seek help with submarine program: report
2015/10/31 22:19:53

CNA file photo
Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) Taiwanese naval officers led a group consisting of military personnel and representatives from the private sector on a visit to Europe in September in an effort to seek help with the Navy's program to retrofit its two aging Dutch-built submarines, a local newspaper reported Saturday.

The group met with representatives of several ship-building companies to discuss Taiwan's plan to upgrade the submarines that have been in service for 27 years, in order to extend their service life, the United Evening News reported, citing unnamed senior military officials.

During the trip, two European companies, including one from the Netherlands, expressed willingness to help Taiwan acquire components that are needed to upgrade the 1980s-era submarines but that are no longer in production, the report said.

In the meantime, the Navy is also seeking assistance from foreign companies with regard to the design of a blueprint for Taiwan's indigenous diesel-electric submarines, the report said.

Taiwan is pushing for an indigenous submarine program, as it is finding it very difficult to acquire subs from a foreign country due to pressure from China.

In a statement in response to the report, the Navy did not comment on the submarine retrofit program, but only made comments on the program to build new submarines.

According to the plan, "the first phase of the project will kick off next year with a design contract," the Navy said.

"Taiwan has no experience in designing submarines, so it is necessary to visit Europe and the United States to consult with companies that are experienced in building submarines and learn from them to reduce the risks involved in a local submarine design," it added.

Based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the six assurances, Taiwan is mainly seeking to cooperate with the U.S. in moving forward with an indigenous submarine program, the Navy said.

The TRA was enacted in 1979 to maintain commercial, cultural and other unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The act also requires the U.S. "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character."

The six assurances given under the Reagan administration refer to assurances of not agreeing to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, not to hold prior consultations with China on arms sales to Taiwan, not to play any mediation role between Taipei and Beijing, not to revise the TRA, not to alter the U.S. position regarding Taiwan's sovereignty and not to exert pressure on Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China.

jurrien visser (JuVi op Twitter)

Taiwan to get US anti-sub aircraft in 2015

AFP March 28, 2013

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan is on track to take delivery of 12 anti-submarine aircraft from the United States by mid-2015, a report said Wednesday, as it seeks to beef up its naval defences against China.

Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Hsu Pei-shan spelt out the timeframe when asked by a lawmaker about a possible delay in the delivery of the aircraft, the state Central News Agency reported.

Washington agreed in 2007 to sell Taiwan the refurbished P-3C Orion patrol aircraft, which reportedly will expand the surveillance range of Taipei's anti-submarine fleet tenfold.

The P-3C fleet, which will cost just under $2 billion, is intended to replace the island's ageing S-2T anti-submarine aircraft.

Delivery of the first five of the 12 aircraft was originally set for 2012, followed by two others in 2013, four more in 2014 and the last one in 2015, according to lawmaker Ma Wen-chun of the parliament's defence committee.

Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou became Taiwan's president in 2008 on a China-friendly platform.

However, Beijing still regards the island as part of its territory and has refused to rule out the use of force against self-ruled Taiwan. The two sides split in 1949 after a civil war.

In response, Taiwan has built up a defence force equipped with weapons acquired mostly from the United States, despite Washington's switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

Defence officials were not immediately available for comment.

jurrien visser (JuVi op Twitter)

Taiwan to receive first P-3C anti-submarine aircraft by year end

Taipei, Jan. 26 (CNA) Taiwan will take delivery of the first batch of 12 submarine-hunting aircraft purchased from the United States by the end of this year, which will beef up the country's anti-submarine capabilities, the Navy said Saturday.

The P-3Cs will be delivered to Taiwan starting this year, with the last aircraft in the arms deal scheduled to arrive here by the end of 2015, the Navy said.

The P-3C, the most capable Orion version, has advanced submarine detection capability.

In 2007, the U.S. government approved the sale of the P-3Cs with T-56 turboprop engines, and other associated equipment and services at an estimated cost of US$1.96 billion.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has taken delivery of the UGM-84L sub-launched Harpoon missiles purchased from the U.S. and is equipping them on two of Taiwan's submarines, the Navy confirmed.

The new weapons will bolster Taiwan's defense capabilities, the Navy said.

(By Elaine Hou)

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Taiwan to get first batch of new Apache helicopters in October

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Taiwan is expected to get six Apache attack helicopters in October this year, according to military sources.

The six AH-64Es will be the first batch of an order of 30 of the most advanced U.S. attack helicopters that the military bought for NT$59.31 billion (US$2.04 billion) in 2008. The last batch should be delivered before July 2014.

The contract to build the helicopters was awarded to U.S. manufacturer Boeing in October 2010 and the first one rolled out of the Boeing hangar in Mesa, Arizona 2012 in a ceremony presided over by Army Commander Gen. Lee Hsiang-chou.

Taiwan has sent seed pilots and maintenance crew to the U.S. to undergo training in flying and maintaining the new fleet.

The Apache helicopters have played a vital role in U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and have been upgraded from models A to B, C and D based on the U.S. experience in those theaters. The model E is the latest and most advanced version.

In addition to its powerful attack capability, the AH-64E can serve as an operations management platform and can control several unmanned drones simultaneously.

According to information provided by its builder, the model E can carry a maximum load of 10 tons and has a maximum speed of 365 kph, a cruising speed of 265 kph and an effective range of 480 km in radius.

The chopper is virtually an airborne arsenal. In addition to a 30 mm automatic cannon with 1,200 rounds of ammunition, it is armed with 16 Hellfire Missiles and four air-to-air missiles. It can be fitted with Stinger Missiles, Sidewinder Missiles or TOW Missiles, depending on mission requirements.

It is equipped with a new four-blade rotor that improves the helicopter's speed and lift ability, with less noise.

The U.S. Army took delivery of its first AH-64E only at the end of 2011, and Taiwan will be the world's first country other than the U.S. to

jurrien visser (JuVi op Twitter)

U.S. will sell advanced Patriot missiles to Taiwan in 2015


Taipei, Jan. 8 (CNA) The United States will sell Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles to Taiwan in 2015 and this is Washington's firm promise, visiting U.S. Senator James Inhofe said Tuesday.

Prior to that sale, the U.S. will sell Taiwan 30 Apache attack helicopters this year and 60 Black Hawk transport helicopters in 2014, Inhofe said during a visit to President Ma Ying-jeou at the Presidential Office.

The co-chairman of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, a body consisting of senators friendly toward Taiwan, said the arms sales promises, as well as the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, are part of Washington's promise to Taiwan, although he added that Washington should do more to implement the act.

For his part, Ma recounted that former U.S. President George W. Bush approved the sale of a batch of arms to Taiwan five months after he took office in his first term, a decision that was maintained by President Barack Obama.

Ma said that during the first three years of his first term, Washington sold US$18 billion-worth of arms to Taiwan, which was the largest sale since 1979 and proof that the U.S. is honoring its promise to help Taiwan protect itself.

Noting that more than 47 senators and 181 representatives have written to Obama urging him to sell F-16 C/D fighter jets to Taiwan in the last two years, Ma said Taiwan's security is a cause of great concern to its friends in the U.S. Congress.

Ma reiterated during his meeting with Inhofe the country's proposal to shelve its disputes with Japan over the Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea and explore resources around the islands jointly.

Inhofe arrived in Taipei earlier in the day at the head of a 19-member congressional delegation for a two-day visit.

During a dinner party hosted by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng later in the day, Inhofe was quoted by Legislator Lin Yu-fang as assuring Wang that he will convince a majority of U.S. senators to support Taiwan's request to buy the F-16 C/Ds.

(By Chen Shun-hsieh, Kelven Huang and Maubo Chang

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Taiwan's new early warning radar system covers as far as 3,000 nautical miles


Taipei, Jan. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's new early warning radar system covers nearly 360 degrees and a reconnaissance distance as far as 3,000 nautical miles that helped Taiwan detect North Korea's rocket launch even minutes earlier than Japan, a source with the Air Force has said.

The long-range early warning radar system helped the nation detected North Korea's rocket launch shortly after it blasted off Dec. 12, the source said.

The long-range early warning radar system installed at Loshan in Hsinchu County was formally inaugurated last month.

The source said that Taiwan's long-range radar can even collect information of some areas in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, including the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea and Taiping Island, the largest island in the Sprately Islands in the South Sea.

The Diaoyutai Islands, located about 100 natuical miles northeast of Taiwan, is under Japan's administrative control since 1972 , but is also claimed by Taiwan and China.

The budget of the U.S.-built radar system was increased by another US$200 million last year to more than NT$40 billion (US$1.38 billin), an mount the Air Force found unacceptable and has asked for an arbitration.

Statistics showed that the system is more powerful than those of the same type currently in service in the United States, according to the source.

The radar can detect and track short- and long-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, the source said, adding that the radar can pinpoint the trajectory of any intruding missile and thus give Taiwan more time to prepare a response.

(By Chen Pei-huang and Lilian Wu)

jurrien visser (JuVi op Twitter)

Talk of the Day -- Taiwan to take delivery of P-3C anti-sub aircraft

Taiwan's Navy will take delivery of two U.S.-built P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft next year, according to local media reports.

The military's plan to build a hangar at an air base in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan to accommodate the advanced anti-submarine aircraft, however, has remained on the drawing board, the reports said.

Some military experts said they are afraid that the new anti-submarine aircraft may become "shelterless" once they are delivered to Taiwan.

The Navy dismissed the speculation Friday, saying the so-called "shelterless" scenario would never happen.

Even if the hangar construction project fails to be completed in time, the Navy said, the new P-3Cs can be kept in the Air Force's hangar for C-130H aircraft.

The following are excerpts from a special report on the issue in the Friday edition of the United Evening News:

In 2007, the U.S. government approved the sale of 12 P-3Cs with T-56 tunboprop engines and other associated equipment and services for about US$1.96 billion.

The P-3C is the most capable of Orion version, with superb submarine detection capability.

U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin recently posted a photo on its website, which showed a P-3C Orion aircraft successfully completing its first functional trial flight in late July. The company noted in photo caption that it's the first P-3C to be delivered to Taiwan.

The move drew concern from Taiwan's Navy and the photo has since been removed from the Lockheed Martin website.

While two P-3Cs are scheduled for delivery to Taiwan next year, the military has not yet arranged any bidding for hangar construction.

Military sources said the Ministry of National Defense (MND) intends to put the P-3Cs under the control of Air Force instead of the Navy.

The sources cited unidentified naval officials as saying that they don't know whether to start preparing for an open tender for the hangar construction as the MND may want the Air Force to handle the case.

Meanwhile, naval sources also questioned the ministry's decision to penalize a naval fleet captain for steering a three-frigates fleet out of Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) during a training drill in late July.

While the fleet sailed out of Taiwan's ADIZ, it did not intrude into Japan's territorial seas surrounding its island of Yonaguni.

Although Japan sent its P-3Cs to monitor the Taiwanese fleet, it did not file any protests to Taiwan's government afterwards because the fleet had navigated in open seas throughout its training exercise.

Against this backdrop, the sources said, the defense ministry's decision to punish the fleet's captain Chang Feng-chiang was not justifiable.

The defense ministry issued a statement Friday that it has formed a task force to investigate the incident and has brought the matter to the attention of military prosecutors.

Some naval officials in private that if the ministry takes issue with the country's naval fleets making innocent passage on open seas, how Taiwan can defend its sovereignty claim to the Tiaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by China and Japan. (Aug. 3, 2012).

(By Sofia Wu)


Navy receives two minehunters from U.S.
Taipei, Aug. 2 (CNA) Two refitted coastal minehunters purchased from the United States were delivered to Taiwan Thursday, beefing up the country's naval defense capabilities, the Navy said that day.

The refurbished Osprey-class minehunters were shipped to the southern city of Kaohsiung after nearly three years of efforts that included reactivating the ships and training personnel to crew them, the Navy said in a statement.

It said an official welcoming ceremony will be held Aug. 10 at the Tsoying naval base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's largest naval base.

The vessels will improve the Navy's ability to locate and destroy naval mines used in sea blockades, sources familiar with the matter told CNA.

The two vessels -- the USS Oriole and the USS Falcon -- are both decommissioned from U.S. naval service.

In early 2010, the U.S. government approved the sale of the two ships to Taiwan. The package included refurbishment, upgrading and other related support and services, at an estimated cost of US$105 million.

Focus Taiwan,
2012/08/02 18:23:46