Taiwan’s Republic of China Navy (RoCN) commissioned first-in-class missile corvette Tuo Jiang and fast combat support ship Panshih on 31 March.
The commissioning ceremony took place at the RoCN’s largest base at Zuoying, Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan, and was presided over by President Ma Ying-jeou.
Ma said construction of the two vessels “demonstrates the island’s success in improving its shipbuilding capabilities” and both will “play an import role in the RoCN’s efforts to modernise its fleet”.
He added that the 20,000-tonne Panshih , which was handed over to the navy in mid-January, will help “extend the navy’s maritime combat capabilities” and “provide international humanitarian assistance”.
RoCN officials said Tuo Jiang (pennant 618) will be based with the 131st Fleet in Keelung, northern Taiwan, while Panshih will be deployed along with the 151st Fleet, based in Zuoying.
Ma also reiterated plans to move ahead with a proposed domestic submarine production programme, saying submarines “will play a hugely significant role in modernising its [Taiwan’s] fleet and building up its naval defence capabilities”.
He added that his administration fully supports the Ministry of National Defence’s (MND’s) “determination to achieve the goal of building submarines locally”.