Saturday, October 15, 2005

Um, Yeah, It Was a Taiwanese Sub

Strategypage note this good development:

October 15, 2005: Taiwan is equipping its two Dutch built submarines subs with Harpoon anti-ship missiles (launched via the torpedo tubes.) The Taiwanese originally wanted six of these boats, but diplomatic pressure by China in the early 1990s caused the Dutch to back off after only two were built. The two boats the Taiwanese do have are twenty years old. The Harpoon missiles will make them much more effective in any future war, especially against Chinese ships trying to invade Taiwan.

As I've said before, I'm a fan of having Taiwan in possession of subs that use our weapons.

If the Chinese try to invade Taiwan and at least one Taiwanese sub makes it to sea, then if Harpoons start smashing into Chinese ships, we can openly marvel at the storage capacity of the Dutch-built boat. I mean, some people might speculate that American subs are launching them, too, but that would be idle speculation best left for historians to examine decades after the Taiwanese fend off the invasion attempt.

These boats are twenty years old, of course, and the other two Taiwanese boats are museum pieces that should never put to sea. So I really hope the Taiwanese get new boats very soon.

But in the short run, putting Harpoons on the two subs that can fight will bring a very important capability to the Taiwanese.