September 28, 2023

How Taiwan's new subs could complicate a Chinese invasion

Source: The Japan Times

Journalist: Gabriel Dominguez

“Submarine building is one of the most challenging defense articles for any nation to build. And certainly, to build submarines that are quiet and capable, is something that only a few countries in the world can do,” said Tom Shugart, a former U.S. Navy submarine commander who is now an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security think tank.


But not everyone agrees, with Shugart saying that these emerging technologies aren't yet as capable as some may claim.

“I think we are decades away from a UUV being able to hunt down and sink surface ships as they cross the strait and invade Taiwan,” he said. “That's much more challenging than people think.”

Overall, the former submariner views the IDS program as a “pretty sensible way for Taiwan to spend some of their money.”

“If Taiwan has the ability to maintain these submarines out at sea and in sufficient numbers,” he said, “then that's the kind of platform that in the event of a Chinese attack, particularly a surprise attack, could be survivable and still be able to inflict damage on the Chinese fleet, without much communication or shore support.”

Read the full story and more from The Japan Times.


  • Tom Shugart

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Thomas Shugart is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). His research focuses on undersea warfare and maritime com...