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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

MND denies reported plan to retire all Knox-class warships

ROC Central News Agency

2013/10/11 22:38:10

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Friday denied a report that the Navy plans to cut Taiwan's number of frigates by six to cut costs.

The report in the latest edition of the China Times Weekly is 'pure speculation and untrue,' the MND said in a statement.

The MND confirmed plans that two U.S.-made Knox-class frigates will be replaced by two Perry-class frigates that the Navy is in the process of acquiring from the United States.

The crews of the two Knox-class frigates will be transferred to the Perry-class vessels, the MND said, without elaborating.

Quoting unnamed sources, the weekly said the Navy is planning to replace the entire fleet of eight Knox-class frigates with just two Perry-class warships, which it said will be delivered in mid-2014.

The Perry-class frigates being sold to Taiwan are 'hot ships' being decommissioned by the U.S. Navy, according to the report.

The MND also denied that it was planning to downgrade the tri-service headquarters, as was reported by the weekly.

A task force is expected to complete its planning on Taiwan's future force structure next March based on its assessment of threats, available resources and the military development of relevant countries, the MND said.

(By Angela Tsai and Jay Chen)

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