TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Coast Guard on Tuesday (June 2) morning held a ship launching ceremony for the largest frigate it has ever had in its fleet.
The 4,000-ton frigate (CG-5001), christened “Chiayi” after the southern region in Taiwan, is the first of four ships that the Coast Guard has commissioned the CSBC Corporation to build with a total budget of NT$10.4 billion (US$344 million). The construction of the frigate is a successful example of international cooperation with a U.S. military ship manufacturer, noted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the ceremony, which was held in Kaohsiung.
The medical facilities installed on the frigate are expected to boost Taiwan’s capability to conduct humanitarian missions at sea, Tsai added. She also reiterated her administration’s aspirations to continue promoting domestically built ships and fostering young talent in the industry.
The Chiayi frigate is part of a 10-year plan to build more than 100 “newer and faster” ships for the Coast Guard. While the frigate will be deployed to carry out such tasks as stopping illegal activities and protecting fishing vessels’ operations, it can also be transformed into a combat ship in wartime.
The frigate is equipped with rockets and machine guns and has a helipad that provides landing space for a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The ship is also equipped with an operating room and a negative-pressure isolation ward.
CSBC Corporation Chairman Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文隆) said the design of the Chiayi frigate will allow Coast Guard officers to conduct tasks in hostile weather conditions while maintaining high stability. He also expressed appreciation for the government’s support, which has allowed the company to maintain business and competitiveness despite the global shipbuilding industry being in decline.