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Haikun, First Submarine Made in Taiwan Ready to Repel Chinese Invasion

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    Haikun, First Submarine Made in Taiwan Ready to Repel Chinese Invasion

    President Tsai Ing-wen officially launched Haikun, Taiwan's first domestically made submarine, last Thursday. The first of two submarines built by Taiwan since yesterday will carry out several trials before officially entering the ranks of the Taiwan Navy (AL) fleet in 2025 to repel China's attempts to seize the island if it dares to invade.

    Taiwan implicitly recognizes the superiority of China's current military strength or in the context of war. Therefore, at the launch of Haikun yesterday, this country nicknamed the Little Dragon of Asia revealed that its existing military strength, including in this case the addition of the Haikun diesel submarine, was not intended solely to repel China's attack during an invasion, but also to buy time until the United States troops (US) and Japan arrived to help Taiwan.

    Haikun, which is based on the myth (Taiwanese, including Chinese literature) of a large fish that can fly, is known to still use diesel-electric power as propulsion. Submarines with 40 percent local components (TKDN) cost around US$ 1.53 billion per unit.

    Despite an increase from the initial budget of less than US$400 million, the Haikun submarine is still quite cheap compared to the price of similar submarines. This submarine is equipped with various interesting features such as the Mark-48 torpedo and a combat system made by the US defense company, Lockheed Martin. 

    Taiwan's Haikun submarine is also equipped with advanced components and technology as well as human resources supplied from Japan, South Korea, India and other Western countries, including the UK.

    With the addition of Haikun, Taiwan's submarine fleet increases to five. In total, under President Tsai, Taiwan plans to continue increasing its submarine fleet to 10 units. Indeed, it is still far from the total of 60 submarines owned by China, including nuclear submarines, that Taiwan does not yet have.

    However, according to a researcher at the Think Tank National Policy Foundation, Chieh Chung, in the Chinese navy the submarine fleet is the weakest during combat, in this case anti-submarine combat.

    That being said, Taiwanese submarines are not intended to fight head-to-head with Chinese submarines, but rather function to complicate Chinese military operations, ambushing Chinese ships, laying mines, cutting off maritime oil supply lines, destroying key facilities. on the coastline of China.

    Taiwan launched a domestic submarine building program in July 2016 and at that time it was hoped that the first unit of the submarine would be completed in 2024. Under President Tsai, this was accelerated by increasing the defense budget by more than two-fold. Evidently, yesterday, Taiwan's first submarine, Haikun, was officially launched a year earlier than originally planned.

    The submarine design itself was completed in 2019, at which time Taiwan showed a scale model of the submarine to be built by CSBC Corporation (formerly China Shipbuilding Corporation) in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

    In 2018, the US State Department approved a license to sell submarine technology subsystems to Taiwan that would help Taiwan's plans to produce submarines domestically. However, at that time it was reported that Taiwan was not satisfied with the technology transfer offered by the US. 

    Taiwan then moved closer to Japan and recruited Japanese submarine experts who graduated from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) until Haikun was finally successfully launched.

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