The Taiwanese government plans to invest 130.6 billion New Taiwan dollars ($4.1 billion) in researching and developing defense equipment.
In a report about its military and policy plan for fiscal 2024, the country’s defense ministry said 111.4 billion New Taiwan dollars ($3.5 billion) will be earmarked to continue previously approved projects.
These include the development of AIDC T-5 advanced jet trainers, an indigenous submarine prototype, and light frigates.
Furthermore, the self-ruled island plans to allocate 19.2 billion New Taiwan dollars ($602 million) in command and control systems and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The funding will support the Taiwanese military’s plan to build 1,779 lightweight, off-the-shelves drones for surveillance and reconnaissance.
Other investments include domestic development of communication technologies and other defense systems, with an eye toward making the nation’s defense industrial base “self-sustaining.”
Calls for Public Support
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen recently called on her people to continue supporting the country’s military, particularly in its move to bolster its defense capabilities.
The island nation is under extreme pressure from China, which views Taipei as a “breakaway province” and considers the use of force to retake it.
“Our country is stronger because of the military’s devotion,” she said during Armed Forces Day. “Let us thank the military for their efforts and be their backup, working together to protect our country.”
Tsai also announced that the country’s defense budget for 2024 would be 606.8 billion New Taiwan dollars ($19.05 billion) – a “historical high.”