Taiwan’ shipbuilder China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) today laid the keel of the first submarine known as Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS). The move aims at renewing the submarine forces of the Republic of China (ROC) Navy while developing a domestic capability to produce submarines.
While several local news outlets are mentioning the ceremony took place this morning at the CSBC shipyard in Kaohsiung, pictures of the event are yet to be released. Pictures may never be released because of the high level of secrecy and strategic nature of the IDS project.
Local media LTN reported that the shipyard gave the first IDS the factory number “1168”.
Construction work on IDS started almost exactly one year ago in presence of President Tsai Ing-wen. The Taiwanese President did not attend the keel laying ceremony.
As we previously reported, the IDS will be armed with MK-48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology heavyweight torpedoes, UGM-84L sub-launched Harpoon Block II missiles, and other combat and digital sonar systems provided by US suppliers Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, Taiwanese naval officials said. Senior military officers told local media that the submarine will be fitted with ‘high-efficiency batteries developed and produced by domestic manufacturers” instead of an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system. This most likely refers to the use of Lithium Ion battery technology.
The ROC Navy and local shipyard China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) signed a construction contract for a prototype submarine as part of the Indigenous Defense Submarine project (IDS) in May 2019. According to the initial schedule, the design of the prototype will be completed by the end of the year and its delivery to the ROC Navy is expected for 2025.
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