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Launch ceremony for Taiwan-built landing platform dock on tap

ROC Central News Agency

04/11/2021 02:24 PM

Taipei, April 11 (CNA) Taiwan's Navy will hold a launch ceremony for the country's first indigenous landing platform dock (LPD) Tuesday, with the new vessel expected to enter into service next year to support amphibious operations and transport missions.

The ceremony, to be held in Kaohsiung, will be presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), according to a media notice issued by the Presidential Office on Sunday.

According to local media reports, the amphibious transport dock, has been named "Yushan," Taiwan's highest peak also known as Jade Mountain.

A mast-stepping ceremony for the ship was held on March 18 and presided over by Navy Commander Admiral Liu Chih-pin (劉志斌) and Cheng Wen-lon (鄭文隆), chairman of CSBC, the builder of the new ship.

Such a ceremony is usually held close to the end of a ship's construction and involves the placing of coins underneath the mast of a ship for good luck.

According to the Navy, CSBC won the bid in April 2018 to build an LPD prototype at a cost of NT$4.6 billion (US$162 million).

The prototype is expected to be put into service in the first half of 2022, replacing the Navy's single amphibious transport dock that has been in service for 50 years, the ROCS Hsu Hai (formerly the USS Pensacola.)

The new ship will be used to support amphibious operations and transport missions, and it will serve as a hospital ship and vessel for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in peacetime.

The dock will be able to support various landing craft and the AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicle, as well as helicopters.

When completed, the 10,000-ton LDP will be 153 meters long, with a top speed of 21 knots and a range of up to 7,000 miles, or 12,964 kilometers.

The design also requires the ship to be fitted with a 76mm gun and Phalanx close-in weapon systems.

The construction of the LDP is part of Taiwan's ongoing efforts to expand its indigenous defense capacity by building its own military aircraft, ships, and submarines, an initiative that started after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Joseph Yeh)

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