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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Two minehunters from U.S. commissioned into Taiwan's Navy

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/26 20:56:30

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Two refitted coastal minehunters purchased from the United States were commissioned Friday into the Navy at the Tsoying naval base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's largest naval base.

The two vessels will improve the Navy's minehunting and minesweeping capabilities to locate and destroy naval mines used in sea blockades, in the event of conflict, the military said.

The two refurbished Osprey-class mine hunting ships -- formerly the USS Oriole and the USS Falcon -- were both decommissioned from U.S. naval service in 2006.

In early 2010, the U.S. government approved the sale of the two ships to Taiwan. The package included refurbishment, upgrading and other related support and services, at an estimated cost of US$105 million.

The vessels were shipped to the southern city of Kaohsiung in August after nearly three years of efforts that included reactivating the ships and training personnel to crew them.

(By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Lilian Wu)

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