STATUS: Commissioned, in Active Service
SHIP CLASS: Hai Lung-class (Zwaardvis-class)
SHIPS-IN-CLASS (2): ROCS Hai Lung (SS-793); ROCS Hai Hu (SS-794)
PROPULSION: Diesel-electric hybrid propulsion scheme: 3 x Bronswerk/Stork-Werkspoor RUB 215x12 marine diesels developing 4,050 horsepower driving 1 x Shaft.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Hai Lung (class) Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine.
Entry last updated on 5/2/2019.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The modern Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy currently (2017) fields just two classes of attack submarine totaling four boats. Two of the group are World War 2-era Tench- and Balao-class diesel-electric types (post-Guppy II conversion) while the other two are more modern, yet Cold War-era relics (based in 1970s submarine design), designated the Hai Lung-class ("Sea Dragon"). The ROCN was arranged in 1950 to protect the small island nation from invasion from mainland China. The Hai Lung-class is made up of ROCS Hai Lung (SS-793) itself and sister-ship ROCS Hai Hu (SS-794). Both were built in The Netherlands by the Dutch in the mid-1980s based on the local Zwaardvis-class standard (four were completed, succeeded by the Walrus-class).
The Hai Lung-class boats were laid down in December of 1982. Hai Lung was launched on October 6th, 1986 and Hai Hu followed that same year on December 10th. The former was commissioned for service on October 9th, 1987 and the latter followed on April 9th, 1988.
In service, these boats operate as diesel-electric-powered attack submarines. They are outfitted with 3 x Bronswerk/Stork-Werkspoor RUB215x12 marine diesels developing 4,050 horsepower. Undersea traveling is made possible by electric generators and a battery supply which requires the boat to surface for periods to recharge these units. Surfaced speeds reach 12 knots while submerged speeds reach up to 20 knots. The hulls are tested down to 300 meter depths. Aboard is the Type 1001 series radar fit and sonar is handled by an Elodone "Octopus" bow-mounted array and the Type 20026 towed array. The crew complement numbers sixty-seven personnel and includes eight officers.
The boat is armed through 6 x 21" torpedo tubes and carries up to 28 reloads. A 2005 announcement called for plans to upgrade the boat class with UGM-84 "Harpoon" anti-ship missile functionality, broadening their tactical capabilities against surface ships and modernizing the armament suite some. Some 32 missiles were then purchased by the country from the United States based on a 2008 announcement.
Of course the sale of the two original Hai Lung-class boats to Taiwan drew the ire of China and led to a successive order of two additional boats being blocked by the Dutch government under pressure. the Hai Lung-class has limited value in the seas today, outclassed by newer generation submarines and, in particular, out-muscled by the newer-generation nuclear-powered types being fielded (and further developed) by the Chinese Navy. As such, the island nation would still rely on foreign support from the United States Navy should Total War come to Taiwan.