• Directory of Taiwan

Combat system for planned missile frigates currently under review: Taiwan Navy

New frigate could be armed with anti-ship missiles, Aegis-like combat system

Prototype of Taiwan's planned guided-missile frigate (Navy Command R.O.C. photo)

Prototype of Taiwan's planned guided-missile frigate (Navy Command R.O.C. photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Navy Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ao I-chih (敖以智) said Sunday (Dec. 7) that the Navy is reviewing a new combat system for the nation’s domestic guided-missile frigate project.

The Navy has been developing a new generation of frigates under the code name "Project Ocean Tremor," and the first is expected to enter service in 2026.

According to information recently released by CSBC Corporation, the shipbuilder responsible for the vessel’s production, the frigate will have a displacement of 4,500 tons. It may be equipped with a 24-unit vertical launch system (VLS), an angled missile-launching system equipped with Hsiung Feng anti-ship missiles, and a combat system similar to the U.S.’ Aegis system.

Deputy Minister of National Defense Chang Che-ping (張哲平) appeared in front of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee Sunday morning to discuss budgetary issues and report on the progress of the frigate project, CNA reported.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) compared the planned domestic frigate to the U.S.’ Constellation-class frigate, stating that the American ship has a displacement of 7,500 tons and is equipped with a 32-unit VLS and a three-sided phased array radar.

Tsai pointed out that the “Ocean Tremor” ship is equipped with a smaller VLS and questioned whether the ship will have enough tonnage. DPP legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) also expressed concern about whether export permits could be obtained in time and pointed out that a Navy data link project had already been delayed.

Ao pointed out that the Navy is carrying out evaluations on the data link system but that its launch date depends on the results of testing conducted by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST).

Chao asked whether it is possible for Taiwan to purchase a combat system from the U.S. In response, Ao said that if the NCSIST is unable to successfully develop one, the Navy will seek to cooperate with foreign manufacturers on the relevant technology transfers. He added that the combat system being developed for Project Ocean Tremor is still under review and that its feasibility cannot be determined yet.