Saturday, February 16, 2013

UPDATE: Taiwan's Quest for a Modernized Submarine Fleet

U.S. Congressman & Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce (R-CA) 

     On February 10th, Congressman Ed Royce spoke from his new district office in California regarding his recent trip to Asia, which included Taiwan.  Of particular interest to this author were his comments regarding Taiwan's need for a modernized submarine fleet.

 “Taiwan has a need for upgrading or updating their submarines. We are working at making this happen, trying to introduce legislation. We are also assisting some of the needs of the Taiwanese Air Force.”    -Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) 

     Two weeks ago, in my two-part analysis regarding Taiwan's desire to upgrade its submarine fleet, I speculated that despite the seemingly dead issue of a  U.S.-Taiwan submarine sale in some form; there seemed to be some "behind the scenes" negotiations taking place.  My reasoning behind this was twofold:
First, it is unlikely that the Congressman would have spent one of his two days in a Taiwanese naval yard near Kaohsiung looking at Taiwan's antiqued submarine fleet without there being some sort of tacit message behind the move.  Secondly, it is equally as unlikely that Taiwan's President Ma would come out publicly and state Taiwan's need for a new submarine fleet unless he felt confident that this sale could be achieved--Taiwan's leaders  have been embarrassed previously by  U.S. Presidential Administrations'  refusal to sell various advanced weapons platforms that were requested.  There is no definitive time table known for when Rep. Royce will introduce such legislation to the House.

You can read Part 1 of my Analysis on Taiwan's Quest for a Modern Submarine Fleet here
                     Part 2 of my Analysis on Taiwan's Quest for a Modern Submarine Fleet here

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