Taiwan commissioned two United States-made Perry-class guided missile frigates Thursday which come equipped with an advanced Sonar system to detect Chinese submarines in the Taiwan Strait.
The frigates were built in the 1980s and served the US Navy as USS Taylor and USS Gary. They were part of a US$1.8 billion arms deal to Taiwan announced in 2015 under then-US president Barack Obama. They have been renamed Ming Chuan and Feng Chia respectively, Taipei Times reported.
They have high mobility, high sea resistance and low noise and are fitted with the SQR-19 sonar system currently used by the US Navy, the Republic of China Navy said. The ships are to patrol the Taiwan Strait, it added.
Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Lee Tsung-hsiao had previously said that the warships’ anti-submarine capabilities are more advanced than the nation’s eight Cheng Kung-class frigates and could have a “deterrent effect” against Chinese submarines.
Commissioning the vessels at a ceremony at the Zuoying naval base in Kaohsiung, President Tsai Ing-wen asserted that the nation would not “concede one step” in defending itself.
“The frigates will improve Taiwan’s capability in current and future defensive efforts, and further Taiwan’s continuing work to modernize its armed forces,” a press release from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in a news release said on the occasion.