Taiwan’s first “self-built submarine” drawings stolen from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering?

According to Yonhap News, police are investigating the leakage of submarine design drawings developed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, now renamed Hanwha Ocean, to their counterparts in Taiwan, China.

South Korean police revealed on Jan. 4 that the local police department is investigating two former Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. employees, including A, on suspicion of leaking internal technology in violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act and the Trade Secrets Protection Act.

A and others stole submarine design drawings while working at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company, and then joined a submarine development consulting company (hereinafter referred to as “Company B”). The police believed that A and others had leaked the submarine design drawings to their counterparts in Taiwan, China.

The leaked design drawings are said to be for the DSME 1400 submarine, which Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine received an order worth $1.1 billion (about 1.43 trillion won) from Indonesia in 2011 for delivery in 2019. Police believe that the drawings in question were leaked when A and others were building the submarine in cooperation with Taiwan International Shipbuilding Co. during their employment at B Company.

According to the report, the leaked drawings were used to develop what Taiwan calls its first “self-built” submarine, the Haikun. The submarine, which took the Taiwan government seven years to build at a cost of NT$50 billion, was constructed by Taiwan Shipbuilding International and is scheduled to be delivered in 2025, according to the plan.

The Haikun submarine was launched on September 28, 2023 at 、 CSBC Corp’s shipyards in Kaohsiung, with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen personally presiding over the naming and launching ceremony.

Some Taiwanese media have pointed out that the submarine’s batteries and masts have not yet been assembled.

In 2023, Company B was tried for illegally exporting parts used in the production of the Haikun submarine. In August 2023, the court of first instance sentenced one of the executives of Company B to one year and six months’ imprisonment, with two years’ probation, and Company B was fined KRW 1 billion (approximately RMB 5,470,000) for violating the Foreign Trade Act.

In response, a Hanwha Ocean official said, “We have not received any notification from the police about the direction of the investigation into the leakage of drawings of submarines exported to Indonesia. Our company plans to further strengthen internal security.”

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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