“Taiwan’s Coast Guard Launches and Christens its Largest Vessel to Date” —

Photo: CSBC Corporation

Like many Asian nations, Taiwan is rapidly expanding their Coast Guard Administration (CGA). Naval News reports that Taiwan has launched it’s largest Coast Guard vessel ever, “Chiayi” (CG-5001). This is only part of a general major expansion.

“CGA has a programme to build 141 coast guard ships from 2018 to 2027. The programme includes four 4000-ton class patrol vessels, six 1000-ton class patrol vessels, twelve 600-ton class patrol vessels, seventeen 100-ton class patrol boats, fifty-two 35-ton class patrol boats and fifty littoral utility boats. Taiwanese media also  reported that the CGA is considering to establish aviation units, and have sent a report on this issue to the parliament in April.”

Nominally these are 4,000 ton ships, but given the Asian tendency to use light displacement, its full load approach 5,000 tons. This may be reflected in the ship’s hull number, 5001, since, while most of their larger ships have three digit hull numbers, some of their smaller vessels have five digit hull numbers, where the first two or three digits that reflect their nominal displacement.

We talked briefly about these ships earlier. Interestingly the Taiwanese refer to these ships as frigates. The description says the “frigate is equipped with rockets and machine guns.”

After much searching, I finally found some more detailed information about these ships.

The Chiayi, which will be deployed at the CGA’s central base, is 125 meters (410 feet) long, 16.5 meters (54.1 feet) wide and can travel up to 10,000 nautical miles at a maximum speed of 24 knots, the CGA said.

In terms of its weapons system, it will be equipped with a 2.75-inch rocket launcher, two 20 millimeter cannons, and several water cannons with a range of 120 meters, the CGA said.

The Chiayi is one of four 4,000-ton CGA patrol ships commissioned to CSBC at a total cost of NT$ 11.74 billion (US$392 million), according to Hsieh Ching-chin (謝慶欽), head of the CGA Fleet Branch.

It appears they are at least as large as the Offshore Patrol Cutters and National Security Cutters, perhaps a little larger.

What is the 2.75 inch rocket launcher referred to above? I found reference to a “multi-barrel Zhenhai rocket system” in a post about their new 600 ton cutter with a wave piercing catamaran hull, that included the artist’s presentation, seen above, of the vessel with what appears to be multiple rocket launcher on the bow. These might be a Taiwanese equivalent of the APKWS guided rocket system. If the rockets were not guided, they would be relatively useless for Coast Guard applications.

There is a discussion of the history and missions of the Taiwan Coast Guard Authority from 2017 here..

The Taiwanese Coast Guard is about 1/3 the size of the US Coast Guard, even though its EEZ is only about 1/136th that of the US. It has at least 14 ships of over 1000 tons.

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