Posted on January 24, 2024
Taiwan’s largest private shipbuilder has started building an anti-submarine warfare frigate expected to relieve stress on the fleet.
The construction comes as China continues growing its naval force, which includes 48 diesel-electric and 12 nuclear-powered submarines, according to a Pentagon report. The submarine force is expected to grow to 65 boats by 2025 and 80 by 2035, the report noted. China considers Taiwan a rogue province and has threatened to take it back by force.
In total, Taiwan plans to acquire a dozen light frigates — six for anti-submarine warfare and six for anti-air warfare — to replace already-decommissioned Knox-class frigates. The island nation’s naval fleet carries out missions in the Taiwan Strait, including patrol, surveillance, offshore-island transportation and escort, maintenance of maritime communication lines, and training support.
Jong Shyn Shipbuilding held a ceremony Jan. 16 in Kaohsiung to mark the beginning of construction. The company had signed a contract on May 12, 2023, and began constructing one of the anti-air warfare frigates on Nov. 17, 2023.
The shipyard is expected to complete both vessels by October 2026, which will serve as prototypes before follow-on frigates are built.