TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed its first ever amphibious assault vessel is on schedule to enter into service in 2021, during the Kaohsiung International Maritime and Defense Expo on Sept. 27.
A Taiwan Navy official told confirmed to U.K. defense and security intelligence firm Jane’s that the project is going ahead on schedule.
Taiwan International Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC) was awarded the contract for the amphibious assault vessel in April, after a public tender process, reported Taiwan News.
The new vessel comes at a time when the Taiwan armed forces are going through a period of modernization, with large swathes of money being attributed to indigenous development projects, like submarines.
The Navy official confirmed key specifications of the new vessel, including speed and weapons.
The vessel is a 153 meter long landing platform dock vessel, with a top speed of 21.5 knots and a cruising speed of 13 knots.
The vessel will also be equipped with 76 mm rapid fire artillery, as well as MK-15 Phanlanx Close-in radar weapons system, and two separate Haijin 2 missile launching platforms, as per the tender specifications.
In time, Taiwan’s military expected to have a fleet of four amphibious assault vessels.
“We will evaluate the performance of the first ship after it is commissioned and use this experience to decide on changes for the next three ships,” the official told Jane’s.