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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan coast guard takes delivery of largest patrol vessel

ROC Central News Agency

04/29/2021 05:53 PM

Kaohsiung, April 29 (CNA) The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) on Thursday took delivery of a 4,000-ton vessel, its largest patrol boat to date, which is expected to significantly enhance its capability to protect Taiwan's waters.

The vessel, named the "Chiayi," was handed over by the domestic shipbuilder CSBC Corp. at a ceremony in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan.

At the ceremony, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said CSBC's delivery of the indigenous patrol ship once again exemplified Taiwan's ability to expand its defense capacity.

The addition of the "Chiayi," now the largest CGA vessel, to the country's coast guard fleet will significantly boost its capability to carry out maritime patrols, crack down on illicit activities on the open seas, and conduct search and rescue missions, Tsai said.

She noted that in keeping with a new policy by her administration, the ship is among the first in the CGA fleet to be emblazoned with the word "Taiwan," which she said will distinguish it from Chinese vessels and display to the world Taiwan's resolution to protect its territorial waters.

Currently, most CGA vessels bear the words "ROC Coast Guard" on their hulls, but the new livery design is being implemented this year.

The proper identification of Taiwan's coast guard ships will allow them to operate more safely, according to the Presidential Office.

Meanwhile, CSBC Chairman Cheng Wen-lon (鄭文隆) said the 4,000-ton "Chiayi," named after a county in southern Taiwan, is 125 meters long, 16.5 meters wide and can travel up to 10,000 nautical miles, with a maximum speed of 24 knots.

It is equipped with three sets of water cannons with a range of 120 meters, Chang said.

The massive frigate can serve as a medical support vessel for humanitarian missions during peacetime and wartime, as it has hospital facilities such an operating theater and isolation wards, he said.

The "Chiayi" is one of four 4,000-ton CGA patrol ships commissioned by the government and being built by CSBC at a total cost of NT$ 11.74 billion (US$392 million), according to the CGA.

Another 4,000-ton CGA patrol ship the "Hsinchu," named after a northern county, was also christened Thursday.

Apart from the four 4,000-ton ships, CSBC was also commissioned to build 15 100-ton and six 1,000-ton patrol vessels. Five of the 100-ton vessels are already in service with the CGA nationwide, while the six 1,000-ton patrol vessels are currently under construction, according to the shipbuilder.

Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a senior analyst at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said the design of the 4000-ton vessels was based on the Legend-class national security cutter of the United States Coast Guard.

He told CNA that the massive CGA vessel will be able to stay at sea for up to 60 days on long-term patrol missions during fishing season and can carry supplies to Taiwan-held islands in the South China Sea.

It can also help the Navy during wartime, as it has the firepower to deter Chinese landing craft and armed civilian vessels, he added.

(By Hung Hsueh-kuang, Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)

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