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The waterway has been highly disputed in what is considered a turning point amid growing tensions between mainland China and the United States. Next year, Taiwan will also begin manufacturing an advanced training aircraft after concluding test flights later this month.
Officials and experts said on Monday that these are efforts to improve air force pilot instruction as mainland China’s animosity increases.
The Taiwan-produced air and sea craft could act as a defence agent during wartime to help protect the territory, the experts said.
The island is also looking to purchase land-based AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles from the US to improve its coastal protection, according to Deputy Defence Minister Chang Che-ping.
The military will soon officially discuss the purchase with Washington, which it hopes to successfully settle by 2023, Mr Chang told the Taiwanese legislature last week.
Mr Chang did not specify the number of devices Taiwan intends to acquire.
To China, Taiwan represents an erratic province that must taken back.
It has engaged in various war strategies around the island as well as taking seven of Taiwan’s allies.
Beijing has also cancelled cross-strait official exchanges since Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, took power in 2016 and did not comply with the one-China doctrine.
Ms Ing-wen won January’s presidential election, meaning she is in power for a second four-year term.
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She promised in her inaugural ceremony on May 20 to increase Taiwan’s defence industry’s capacity to produce its own weapons.
She is set to present the National Coastguard Administration’s CG-160 4,000-tonnage-class patrol ship today in an event at the shipbuilder CSBC in the southern city of Kaohsiung, CSBC and coastguard officials have said.
“After the ship is launched, we will conduct various kinds of tests of the vessel’s facilities and equipment before delivering it over to the National Coastguard Administration by the end of this year,” Wei Cheng-tzu, executive vice-president of CBSC, said.
The ship is the heaviest so far for Taiwan’s coastguard, and it is one of a series of four vessels that were commissioned to CBSC.
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The total cost of the ships NT$10.44 billion (US$347 million), but the other three will be ready by 2025, according to Mr Wei.
According to CBSC the ship’s hull was developed including weapon fittings.
This include 2.75-inch rockets which can reach a target within a range of 10km (six miles), designed by the Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology – Taiwan’s leading weapon designer.
According to the coastguard, the vessel will also feature a helipad with enough room for the Black Hawk helicopters operated by the National Airborne Service Corps of Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior, as well as the Sikorsky helicopters used by its navy.
The coastguard is set to bring it into action next year, possibly before April, CBSC said.
The manufacturer of Taiwan’s first advance jet trainer (AJT) – named Yung Yin, or Brave Eagle – will begin test flights in late June.
The flights will precede its first round of production due in November next year, according to officials.
In a shareholders’ meeting on Friday, Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation chairman Hu Kai-hung said his firm was set to start production of the first series of AJTs in November next year before mass production in March 2023.
“According to the schedule, we are to deliver 66 Yung Yins to the air force by June 2026,” Mr Hu said.
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