The ROC’s Central News Agency reports on Nov. 21, 2013 that the first two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates purchased by Taiwan from the United States are expected to be delivered in 2015, Navy Chief of Staff Kao Tien-chung said Thursday.
During a hearing of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, Kao said the two warships, which cost NT$5.2 billion, will replace two Knox-class frigates that are in the worst condition in the entire fleet.
The ships are part of an order of four Perry-class frigates that the U.S. government has agreed to sell Taiwan.
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously agreed to introduce legislation that would authorize the sale of the four frigates, namely the USS Taylor (FFG-50), USS Gary (FFG-51), USS Carr (FFG-52) and USS Elrod (FFG-55), to Taiwan. The four warships were commissioned between 1984 and 1985 and, except for the USS Gary which was decommissioned in March, are all in active service.
Kao also said that between 2015 and 2018, Taiwan will design and build one salvage ship prototype and another amphibious warfare ship on its own.
The AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles carry troops from ship to shore along with supplies.
The ROC Navy is also planning to buy 36 used AAV-7 assault amphibious vehicles from the United States. With its river-crossing ability, the AAV-7 will help strengthen the mobility and expeditionary capabilities of Taiwan’s Marine Corps.
Ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yu-fang, however, questioned the necessity of the purchases given that the military already has 54 AAV-7s. Equipped with 50-caliber machine guns and 40-mm automatic grenades, the AAV-7 is not powerful enough, and it does not necessarily have better mobility than wheeled armored vehicles, Lin said. He suggested that the military consider acquiring more Taiwan-made Yunpao CM-32 eight-wheel armored vehicles to meet its needs.
- “Taiwan denies plan to retire all Knox-class warships,” Oct. 12, 2013.
- “Taiwan wants to buy submarines from U.S.,” Oct. 26, 2013.
- “Taiwan to receive first batch of latest-model Apache attack helicopters,” Oct. 18, 2013.
- “Taiwan receives first of P-3C anti-submarine aircraft from U.S.,” Sept. 27, 2013.