Chi Yang-class [Knox] Frigate
Taiwan's Kuang Hua [Glorious China] naval modernization program includes the lease of eight Knox-class frigates from the United States, which are are equipped with the U.S.-made Harpoon ASCM. The primary mission of these newer frigates is sea control, particularly the capability to protect the sea lanes beyond the range of coastal aircraft.
In 1998 the United States agreed to provide four Knox class frigates to Taiwan as part of the third batch of delivery and to sell all six of the same class of frigates which were previously leased to Taiwan. The former Knox-class frigates Aylwin (FF-1081) and Valdez (FF-1096) became the Ning Yang and Yi Yang, the seventh and eighth of their class in Taiwanese service when they were recommissioned on 18 October 2000 after refits in South Carolina. Another two frigates, to be bought at bargain prices, will be scrapped and their parts used as logistics support for other frigates of same class. The ROC Navy will possess eight Knox class frigates at the same time, counting the original six frigates.
Under the ROC Navy's long-term Weapons System Modernization [WSM] Plan, the Knox class frigates will be upgraded when budget constraints ease. The Plan is aimed at greatly upgrading the frigates' air defense, anti-submarine, and electronic warfare capabilities. The Plan calls for modernizing the Knox class frigates with a new type of combat combat command center and equipping them with new radars, active towed array sonars, Phalanx or area air defense vertical launch systems, and active and passive electronic warfare systems. Some of the equipment will also be fitted in other new-generation warships, such as replacing the much-criticized Sea Chaparral missiles on the Kang Ding class frigates with a similar type of new air defense vertical launch system.
These ships are located at Suao and form the ROCN's 168 Patrol Squadron.
On April 19, 2004 a report in the Taipei Times indicated that the Taiwan military was considering a plan to buy decommissioned Spruance class destroyers from the United States to replace aging Knox class frigates. Reports indicate that Taiwan would have to buy about four ships to replace eight Knox ships.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|