PFG-2 Cheng Kung-class [Perry] Frigate
The PFG-2 is virtually identical to the Perry Class FFG-7 in use in the U.S Navy. Taiwan's Kuang Hua I [Glorious China] naval modernization program includes the licensed-production of eight Perry-class (Cheng Kung-class) frigates. As of the early 1990s Taiwan planned to field a navy with an eventual strength of 25 modern frigates. The frigate procurement was planned to total at least 24 ships: 8-12 PFG-2 designs based on the USN's FFG-7, 6 PF types based on the French 'La Fayette' design, and 6-9 ex-USN Knox-class. The Taiwan Frigate (PFG-2) class frigates are designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and to escort other ships that are sent to the same seas. They are to be used mainly for coastal patrol and border defense.
This effort is part of the US Foreign Military Sales Program through a cooperative agreement with the USG, U.S. defense contractors and the China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC). Lockheed Martin worked with the China Shipbuilding Corporation and the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) and the Republic of China Navy to plan, build and operate Taiwan's first indigenous surface combatant, the Perry-class PFG-2 frigate.
The Navy placed an order for the PFG-2 frigates with the state-run China Shipbuilding Corp. (CSBC) on 08 May 1989. The first Perry-class frigate, "Cheng Kung," started construction on 10 January 1990 and was completed 7 May 1993. Afterward, one frigate was delivered to Taiwan every 11 months. The ROC Navy took delivery of a third missile frigate in 1995, and the fourth in early 1996. Construction on the fifth, sixth and seventh units were underway by 1996, and was completed by November 1998. The first seven of the class are knowns as Flight I, and are named after Chinese generals and warriors.
The ship is powered by 2 LM 2500 gas turbines (General Electric), to give a top speed of 29 knots while carrying a crew of 185 and 2 SH-2 LAMPS helicopters. With a displacement of 4,000 tons, the frigates are equipped with advanced radar, artillery, torpedo, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles as well as anti-submarine helicopters. The Perry-class frigates are armed with indigenously- produced Hsiung Feng II ASCMs, and air defense weapons systems include the Standard air defense missile. The area between the mast had to be strengthened to take the Hsiung Feng II missles. The primary mission of these newer frigates is sea control, particularly the capability to protect the sea lanes beyond the range of coastal aircraft.
Plans for the eighth warship of this class were postponed in 1995 to shift the budget to the construction of a Chin Chiang-class coastal patrol boat. Taiwan had evaluated the possibility of building two more Chen Kung-class warships equipped with a "mini-AEGIS" systems, but the Chen Kung is too small for the system and the performance of the mini-AEGIS might prove sub-standard. The original plan was to install the equipment of an "Aegis-class" cruiser on the eighth Cheng Kung-class frigate. If the experiment was successful, the Navy would build four more Cheng Kung-class frigates with this equipment. However, the installation of the equipment would cause the frigate to rock due to shifting its center of buoyancy upward. Moreover, a Cheng Kung-class frigate would not be able to accommodate all the equipment. If the body of the warship is lengthened and broadened, this would lead to insufficient propulsion power and electric power. Since the risk was too great, the Navy temporarily suspended this project.
In July 1999 Taiwan decided to begin construction of the eighth Chen Kung class frigate, having failed for the moment in efforts to purchase the American AEGIS Advanced Combat System. Taiwan plans to build the ship at a cost of US$300 million. This much-delayed eighth unit was laid in early 2001 for delivery in 2004. The last of eight high-speed missile frigates ordered by the navy was delivered 09 March 2004 by China Shipbuilding Corp. (CSBC). The frigate, patterned after the U.S-designed Perry-class warship finished the most difficult phrase of sea trials. The newcomer to the fleet has been christened the Tien Tan. It was the last of eight Perry-class frigates ordered by the navy from the CSBC.
In December 2000 Taiwan's Navy announced plans to replace the Hsiung Feng-II with the Harpoon as the standard anti-ship missile on the Cheng Kung-class frigate. The decision grew from concerns for the higher cost-effectiveness of the new weapon system. Compared with the RGM -84L Harpoon missile, the Hsiung Feng-II was judged inferior in respect to range and maneuverability. The Hsiung Feng-II missiles on board the Cheng Kung-class frigates will be moved to the domestically-built Ching Chiang-class patrol boats, as well as the next-generation Kuang Hua VI missile boats in a pre-production. The Hsiung Feng-II missile had been chosen for the Cheng Kung-class frigate because the US was not willing to sell the Harpoons to Taiwan when the frigates were built.
On 20 May 2013 the Republic of China Navy Command confirmed that it was seeking to purchase two active Perry-class frigates from the United States. The Navy Command said in a press release that the price and date of delivery will not be decided until after the U.S. Congress passes legislation allowing the transfer. It denied a news report saying that the proposed acquisition includes a 'mini-Aegis' fire control system and a vertical launch surface-to-air Standard I missile system. Neither system was ever requested, the Navy Command said.
It was responding to a report in the Liberty Times saying that the ships will be delivered to Taiwan's Navy next year at a total price of NT$600 million (US$20 million). The paper said that Taiwan wants to replace its fleet of eight U.S.-made Knox-class frigates built in the 1960s.
The United States has eight Perry-class vessels, currently deployed by the U.S. Coast Guard, that are slated for decommissioning in fiscal 2013. Taiwan managed to secure only two of them, with the rest going to other U.S. allies, the paper said. The 4,100-ton frigates will take over part of the anti-submarine mission currently shouldered by the Knox-class fleet deployed along Taiwan's eastern coast.
It will mark Taiwan's first acquisition of the Perry-class frigate from the United States, although eight were built under U.S. authorization in Taiwan. Called the Cheng Kung-class, the ships were deployed by the ROC Navy between 1993 and 2004.
The first two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates purchased by Taiwan from the United States were expected to be delivered in 2015, Navy Chief of Staff Kao Tien-chung said 21 November 2013. The two warships, which cost NT$5.2 billion, will replace two Knox-class frigates that are in the worst condition in the entire fleet, Kao said during a hearing of the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and National Defense Committee. The ships are part of an order of four Perry-class frigates that the U.S. government has agreed to sell Taiwan, he said. The U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously agreed to introduce legislation that would authorize the sale of the four frigates, namely the USS Taylor (FFG-50), USS Gary (FFG-51), USS Carr (FFG-52) and USS Elrod (FFG-55), to Taiwan.
The U.S. House of Representatives on 07 April 2014 passed H.R. 3470, the "Taiwan Relations Act Affirmation and Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2014" by unanimous consent. This legislation reaffirmed the importance of the Taiwan Relations Act and authorizing the sale of four Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigates to Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act Affirmation and Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2014 was forwarded to the Senate for further actions.
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