Taiwan eyes indigenous submarine build

March 21, 2013 at 12:01 PM

TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 21 (UPI) -- Taiwan is studying the possibility of building its own submarines as the United States is seen to dither on a 12-year-old procurement request.

The Ministry of National Defense said in a statement it "is accurately reviewing the relevant plans and budgets."

It is doing so as part of a proposed four-year program it has submitted to the National Defense Industrial Development Foundation. The proposal was made after the country's legislature passed a resolution calling for Taiwan build its own submarines, the China News Agency reported.

Taiwan has four submarines. Two of them are from the United States and two from the Netherlands.

Twelve new submarines were offered to Taiwan during the administration of President George W. Bush but the deal hasn't advanced and is under review at the inter-ministerial level, the report said.

Under the preliminary four-year plan, Taiwan's navy will use the National Defense Industrial Development Foundation and its $236 million fund as its resource base.

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