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Frigates arrive to beef up Taiwan's anti-submarine capability

ROC Central News Agency

2017/05/13 12:39:18

Taipei, May 13 (CNA) Two Perry-class guided missile frigates purchased by Taiwan from the United States arrived in Kaohsiung on Saturday, an acquisition that Taiwan's Navy hopes will increase its anti-submarine capability.

Flying Republic of China national flags, the two frigates manned by Taiwanese crews sailed slowly into Zuoying Military Harbor in the southern city at around 9:30 a.m., where a welcome ceremony was held by the military.

A commissioning ceremony is slated for July 2018, according to military sources.

The ships, built in the 1980s and named by Taiwan as "Ming Chuan" and "Feng Chia," will join the Navy's 146th fleet based on the outlying island of Penghu and be responsible for patrolling the Taiwan Strait, the sources said.

The Perry-class frigates have high mobility and are equipped with the SQQ-89 undersea warfare combat system and the SQR-19 sonar system, both of which the military said will beef up the Taiwanese Navy's anti-submarine capabilities.

Then-U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill into law in December 2014 that authorized the sale of four Perry-class frigates to Taiwan. Taipei budgeted about NT$5.5 billion (US$174.8 million) in 2014 to purchase two of the ships, formerly USS Taylor (FFG-50)and USS Gary (FFG-51)of the U.S. Navy.

(By Chang Che-fon and Y.F. Low)

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