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Taiwan to consider purchasing decommissioned US littoral combat ships

Ministry of National Defense to evaluate benefits of American LTCs to bolster Taiwan’s defense

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USS Gabrielle Giffords, a Naval littoral combat ship built at Austal USA shipyards.

USS Gabrielle Giffords, a Naval littoral combat ship built at Austal USA shipyards. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan will consider purchasing soon-to-be-retired U.S. Navy littoral combat ships (LCS), Vice Defense Minister Alex Po (柏鴻輝) said on Monday (April 11).

During a Legislative Yuan on Monday, Kuomintang Legislator Charles Chen (陳以信) asked whether the Navy will buy any US decommissioned ships this year or continue to purchase domestically built vessels, CNA reported.

Po pointed out that though Taiwan’s military strategy is based on a “rolling revision” framework in order to respond to the enemy with flexibility, the domestic construction of warships is an established policy. However, he said the Ministry of National Defense (MND) will evaluate whether the American ships will help bolster Taiwan’s defense.

Lee Shi-chiang (李世強), the chief of the defense ministry’s wartime regulations bureau, emphasized that these LCSs are being decommissioned because even the US can no longer afford their cost of maintenance. The MND continues to evaluate these ships but is yet to definitively announce whether or not it plans to purchase any, he added.