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President Tsai Ing-wen, who oversaw a ceremony at a shipyard in Kaohsiung, said the submarine “is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island.” It marks the long-planned launch of a submarine program that will see Taiwan build eight diesel-electric attack submarines, the first of which is expected to be completed by 2024. Taiwan has assertively sought to boost its asymmetric capabilities and prevent a Chinese invasion by purchasing billions in U.S. weapons , including look at more info air-to-ground missiles, a coastal defense missile system, and surveillance drones. Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month. The indigenous submarines will revamp an antique fleet that consists of four submarines, two of which are Dutch-made submarines built in the 1980s. The other two were constructed during World War II and transferred to Taiwan from the U.S. Navy in the 1970s and are now used mostly for training. Taiwan launched its indigenous submarine program in 2014, following years of debate over whether to domestically produce the submarines or purchase them from a foreign country. It has faced difficulties in acquiring submarine technology from other countries for the indigenous submarines due to objections from Beijing.