《TAIPEI TIMES》 Coast guard inaugurates vessels ‘Wanli,’ ‘Yungkang’
Schoolchildren tour the bridge of the navy’s amphibious landing dock "Yushan" at a rehearsal yesterday for today’s Fleet Day at Kaohsiung’s Sin Bin Pier. Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
By Hung Chen-hung and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writer
The Coast Guard Administration （CGA） yesterday inaugurated two new ships, as the navy prepared for an open house in Kaohsiung today, marking the first time its three newest warships would be open to the public.
The coast guard held the launch ceremony for the Anping-class vessels Wanli （萬里） and Yungkang （永康） at Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Co’s （中信造船） Jade Yacht shipyard in Kaohsiung’s Cijin District （旗津）.
The two 600-tonne catamarans — which are largely based on the navy’s Tuo Chiang-class corvettes — have a maximum speed of more than 35 knots （65kph） and can withstand winds of up to 9 on the Beaufort scale, the CGA said.
Anping-class ships are armed with 20mm cannons, domestically developed Chen Hai 2.75-inch rocket systems, water cannons and self-righting rescue boats to carry out marine law enforcement and emergency response missions.
The patrol vessels can also be retrofitted to accommodate Hsiung Feng II and Hsiung Feng III missile systems during wartime to engage in combat operations.
Named after a district in New Taipei City, the patrol vessel Wanli is to deploy with the Northern Flotilla Sector after going through a bevy of ship and crew certification trials, the CGA said.
Yungkang is to deploy with the Southern Flotilla Sector, it said, adding that the ship’s name means eternal health and security and was determined through a vote by coast guard personnel.
The new patrol vessels being received by the coast guard represents a significant upgrade in shipborne systems and operational capabilities that would enhance the nation’s security, maritime law and order, and peace, the CGA said.
Meanwhile, the navy conducted a full rehearsal of the Fleet Day event scheduled for today at Sin Bin Pier （新濱） in Kaohsiung, which is to showcase the amphibious landing dock Yushan, a Tuo Chiang corvette and a fast minelayer.
Visitors would be allowed to board these vessels for the first time, the navy said.
The Fleet Day is the last in a series of public relations events organized by the Taiwanese armed forces this year to burnish the military’s image.
The landing platform dock Yushan and corvette Tuo Chiang, commissioned in June this year and September 2021 respectively, are the lead ships for their respective classes.
The fast minelayer was commissioned in January last year.
In addition, naval cruise missiles and the Institute of Science and Technology’s latest drone, Cardinal 3, are to be displayed onshore, the CGA said.
Separately, the Ministry of National Defense yesterday issued a clarification saying that no live missiles would be launched during peacetime at the proposed new bases housing Harpoon missile systems.
The planned bases would not lead to any abnormal increase in noise pollution from missile launches, as troops assigned to these bases would live and work in garrisons, it said.
The ministry’s comments followed a complaint from groups and Yunlin County Council’s Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） caucus demanding that the county government “get tough” with the military over a proposed missile base in Huwei Township （虎尾）.
Schoolchildren view a control panel of the navy’s amphibious landing dock “Yushan” at a rehearsal yesterday for today’s Fleet Day at Kaohsiung’s Sin Bin Pier. Photo: CNA