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Chi Yang-class [Knox] Frigate

168th Patrol SquadronTaiwan'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.

Among the eight Jiyang-class ships, only the first ship, Jiyang, was built by Lockheed and belongs to an earlier design. The remaining seven ships were built by Avondale Shipyard and belonged to later production batches (after FF-1078); therefore, The Jiyang not only has lighter displacement, but the boiler and some parts and components are different from the other seven ships. Many equipment cannot be used in common use, and the logistic maintenance is the most difficult. Therefore, the Navy naturally excluded the Jiyang from the Wujin III modification, and Jiyang The ship was also scheduled to be the first ship of the same class to be eliminated; the remaining seven Jiyang-class ships were used in conjunction with the overhaul period to carry out the "Wu Sanhua" project. In addition to the first ship Fengyang, Lanyang (FF-935) and Yiyang (FF-939) was refitted in 2006, Ningyang (FF-938) was refitted in mid-2007, Fenyang (FF-934) and Haiyang (FF-936) were refitted in early and late 2008, and The last Huaiyang (FF-937) was refitted in mid-2009. After the completion of the project, the Jiyang class was also renamed as a missile frigate (FFG).

In February 2014, the Taiwan Naval Commands "15-year military development vision" included a large-scale performance reconstruction for the Jiyang-class in active service, so that the Jiyang-class can serve a longer period of time while reducing personnel requirements. The most important project in the Jiyang-class performance reconstruction plan,is to replace the originally difficult and dangerous steam turbine propulsion system with a diesel propulsion system (so the hull must be cut apart. Ventilation and exhaust, etc. must be redesigned, and the design of the helicopter deck and hangar has been greatly changed, so that it can take off and land the Navy S-70C(M)1/2 anti-submarine helicopter. It was estimated that it would take 3 to 5 years for the first Jiyang class to undergo large-scale modification. However, in mid-December 2015, it was reported that due to the limited defense budget (the conversion of six Jiyang-class ships would cost about NT$2 billion, which is equivalent to receiving a second-hand Perry-class), the Navy gave priority to the Xunlian case (the integration of the battle system of the Tuojiang ship) and the national construction of submarines. In December 2015, the US formally agreed to sell Taiwan the Perry class and the SQR-19, and the Jiyang class's need for large-scale modification was reduced, so this plan was shelved.

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Page last modified: 06-10-2021 12:15:00 ZULU