Photo credit: Loren, ROC Coast Guard ships in Keelung Harbor, 1 January 2007
Earlier we saw this photo and comments indicated that Derecktor, which built nine of the USCG’s 270s had sold the design to Taiwan.
(Additional photos and discussion here.)
I ran across more specifics recently. There are two ships in the class, Ho Hsing (CG-101) and Wei Hsing (CG-102). They both entered service in 1992, two years after the last 270. Compared to the Bear Class, their reported dimensions are essentially identical. They have more than twice the horsepower of our 270s, 15,470 bhp from two MTU 16V1163 TB93 diesels, but still have a maximum speed of only 22 knots (I would have expected a knot or two more). They are slightly heavier than the Bear class at 1,823 tons full load (vice 1,780) resulting in a slightly deeper draft. They do not have a medium caliber gun, fire control system, or ESM system.
The interesting thing about these ships is that they replaced the helicopter capability with four “interceptor boats” each with its own set of davits.
According to Combat Fleets of the World, “The eight interceptor craft (four for each ship–Chuck) were delivered 7-91 from Hood Military Vessels of the U.S.: 12.19 m (40 foot) overall, six crew, two 300-php Cummins diesels driving Arneson outdrives for 35 knots, range 382 nautical miles at 35 kts, 466 nautical miles at 30 knots.
The result is perhaps unique among the world’s patrol ships. We might speculate that they may use these relatively large boats to extend the search horizon of the ship. They might launch two (or even all four) at dawn and use them to search until the approach of darkness on a parallel tracks with the mother ship. Or perhaps they see the problem as, not one of finding vessels to board, but of a very target rich environment, and this is their solution for making the maximum number of boardings.
On the other hand, the result does look a little like the High Speed Transport (APD) conversions of destroyers made during WWII.