TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng acknowledged on Tuesday (Sept. 26) the many delays in U.S. military sales to Taiwan but failed to elaborate on the reasons behind the setbacks.
Multiple postponements in recent years involve weapon systems such as the Stinger missiles, with the delivery timeline extended to 2025. The planned purchase of the M109A6 Self-Propelled Howitzer was also halted due to production line congestions.
Despite these setbacks, Chiu stressed Taiwan's continued communication with the U.S. Purchases are long-term, not short-term, measured in years, he said, adding that there are many reasons for the delay.
In 2021, the Taiwan Navy issued 11 reminders and lodged two formal protests to the U.S. regarding the Stinger missiles' delivery. Still, the problem remains unresolved, according to the Legislative Yuan's Budget Center.
On a more positive note, there are promising advancements in the domestically-produced submarine project. Huang Shu-kuang, the Special Project Coordinator, reported that the first submarine will undergo sea trials on Thursday before starting port testing on Oct. 1.
Huang aims to hand the vessel over to the navy by the end of next year, hoping to complete three such submarines by 2025 and achieve a fleet of four by 2027.