Two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates purchased from the U.S. arrived May 13 at Zuoying Naval Base in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City, according to the Ministry of National Defense.
The Mingchuan and Fengchia, formerly known as the USS Taylor (FFG-50) and USS Gary (FFG-51), respectively, set sail from the U.S. in March under the Republic of China (Taiwan) flag and were crewed by members of the ROC navy. The officers and crewmen were dispatched to the U.S. in May 2016 to undergo 10 months of training before the ships set out for Taiwan.
Both frigates were originally commissioned in the 1980s and are equipped with AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array Sonar systems, which facilitate long-range passive detection of submarines. The navy said that after completing equipment testing and personnel training, the ships will join the 146th Fleet based in outlying Penghu County.
The maintenance of smooth maritime traffic as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is of paramount importance, the navy emphasized. The procurement of the two warships is expected to greatly enhance Taiwan's anti-submarine warfare capabilities, according to the navy.
Taiwan and the U.S. enjoy robust ties in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. Signed into law in 1979 after the U.S. switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing, the TRA authorizes the continuation of substantive relations between the people of the U.S. and the people of Taiwan.
Consistent with the TRA, the U.S. has helped to maintain peace, security, and stability in the Taiwan Strait by providing defense articles and services to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self defense capability.
Source: Taiwan Today