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Taiwanese frigate undergoes repairs after hitting underwater foreign object in naval port

Taiwan's Navy Command has established investigation team to find cause of incident

Kang Ting-class frigate.

Kang Ting-class frigate. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Navy Command stated Monday (Jan. 18) that the Kang Ting-class frigate Xining had hit a foreign object in the water as it was pulling out of port on Jan. 16, damaging part of its propellor.

As the Xining departed from Zuoying naval port, its propellor was suspected to have hit something in shallow water. The ship is expected to be docked later this week to undergo inspection and replacement of its propellor, but the fleet's combat readiness will not be affected. None of the sailors on board were injured and the vessel’s other machine equipment was in working order CNA reported.

The Navy stated Monday that its headquarters and the fleet command have established an investigation team to find the cause of the incident. Other fleets were ordered to take note of the mishap in order to prevent such incidents from happening in the future and to ensure the safety of ships and their crews when entering and leaving Zuoying port.

The Kang Ting-class frigate, which is based on the French Navy's Lafayette-class frigate, belongs to the Navy's 124th fleet based in Zuoying. Aside from the Xining, the frigate fleet has five ships, including the Kangting, Kunming, Dihua, Wuchang, and Chengte. The ships mainly perform air defense, anti-submarine, escort, anti-blockade, and joint surface intercept operations around the Taiwan Strait.

Lu Li-shih (呂禮詩), a former Navy captain, said that the frigate had been traversing through a familiar channel and recommended that the Navy carefully review the incident in order to ascertain its cause.