Taiwan’s Jong Shyn Shipbuilding and American Lockheed Martin signs MOU to build warships for ASEAN nations 洛馬將委託中信造船造艦 售予東協國家: Geostrategery and Taiwan Republic 台灣国 classrooms

美國軍武大廠洛克希德馬丁公司(Lockheed Martin;簡稱洛馬)已與高雄中信造船(2644)簽署合作備忘錄(MOU),未來將委託中信造船建造軍艦艦體,再由洛馬公司安裝武器系統,交付給印尼、馬來西亞及菲律賓等東協國家,以強化這些國家海軍實力,因應南海日趨緊張情勢。中信造船董事長韓碧祥低調証實此事,表示只要洛馬下單,中信造船會立即備料騰出產能,滿足美方的需求。中信造船的造艦實績與品質受到洛馬公司注意,先前曾派員到高雄考察工廠及相關設備,並與中船造船負責人詳談,經美國總公司評估認可後,已與中信造船簽署備忘錄。洛馬在2022年5月再度派員到高雄中船造船廠,現場勘查船塢設備,並再中信造船負責人及主管晤談,委託造艦業務將視美國政府與南海諸國協商後,隨時都會展開。中信造船目前有4個造船船塢,最大造船噸位5萬噸,過去已承造過3000噸級、2000噸級及1000噸級巡防救難艦,目前海巡署委託的12艘600噸級安平級(原型為沱江艦)正建造中,已有5艘交船下水執行海巡任務。

Taiwanese shipbuilder responsible for its double-hulled fast attack corvette has signed an MOU with Lockheed Martin for Taiwan to build the hulls while Lockheed Martin coordinates and fits their weapons and sensors. These small naval ships will be sold to Southeast Asian nations. The fact that usually hypersensitive to Beijing’s opinion Southeast Asia may be involved is fascinating. If this deal proceeds accordingly, this is good news for Taiwanese and regional security – anything which further integrates democratic and independent Taiwan into the US-Japan-led global democratic supply chain is good. Not clear if this is a part of the purposeful news leak from the latest Taiwan-US military summit where the US plans to collaborate on weapons manufacturing. Also, a very good sign that a civilian, nonstate-owned Taiwanese shipbuilder is involved in this deal. Previous plans to integrate aviation and aircraft maintenance with global arms suppliers faced stiff resistance from Taiwan’s archaic and complicated military-state (and formerly, authoritarian China KMT party) owned enterprises. Israel, South Korea, and Singapore are three good models of small-mid sized nations surrounded by larger hostile powers, and how they have focused their resources and rationalized the collaboration between military-state led R&D, civilian corporations and manufacturing, and links to global military supply chains.

An important part of Taiwan’s democratic consolidation is to push into the last mile – the national security apparatus is the most resistant to democratic change and modern transformation. This is also the sector where modern management techniques and manufacturing would go a long way in aiding Taiwan to modernize its own domestic arms manufacturing. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated, even a global superpower like the United States cannot manage the logistical challenges of a modern medium-intensity war alone – so it serves vital American national security interests to coordinate with global democracies such as Taiwan, Japan, Korea, EU partners by creating a global arms supply chain. We hope for peace of course, but any potential democracies versus authoritarian China conflict in the future will be far more intense than the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The ability of the US, Japan, Taiwan, and democratic allies to restock high-end high technology munitions (THAAD, Patriots, AMRAAM, etc.) in a high-intensity war will play a critical role in any future conflict in the region. 24.11.2022

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