Tue, Oct 02, 2018 - Page 1 News List

New special ops bases to cost NT$1.1bn

READY FOR ACTION:Two Perry-class guided missile frigates are to join the navy’s 146th Fleet next month and are to be deployed on patrols in the Taiwan Strait

By Aaron Tu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

A navy Cheng Kung-class frigate, serial number PFG-1112, is pictured in Kaohsiung on May 13 last year.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

The Ministry of National Defense plans to spend more than NT$1.1 billion (US$36 million) to build three special operations and counterterrorism bases over three years for use by the navy and the military police, the ministry’s budget for next year showed.

The navy is to build a multifunctional special operations training base for NT$698.04 million and a maritime special operations training base for NT$134.25 million, while NT$269.21 million has been reserved for a joint special operations training base for the military police, the document said.

The multifunctional base, which is to be equipped with computers that can simulate training scenarios, is slated for use by the Special Service Squadron of the marine corps’ Amphibious Reconnaissance and Patrol Unit, it said.

The program is to have a NT$11.42 million budget next year and base construction should be completed in 2022, it said.

The maritime base is to be used for improving formational and individual combat skills, as well as enhancing amphibious assault and special operations capabilities, it said.

The base is to have facilities for air insertion training and hostage rescue drills on ships, vehicles and airplanes, it said, adding that the base could accommodate the training needs of other military units.

The ministry is to spend NT$4.51 million constructing the maritime base next year and completion is scheduled for 2021, it said.

The joint training base is slated for use by the military police, which has an important role in the defense of Taipei, security operations and urban warfare.

The base is to be capable of simulating conventional military combat, as well as special operations in modern built-up areas, for training of military and regular police units, it said.

The joint training base is to be allotted NT$2.12 million for the portion of the program scheduled for next year and is expected to be completed in 2022, it said.

Separately, the navy next month is to commission two Perry-class guided missile frigates that were bought from the US.

Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Lee Tsung-hsiao (李宗孝) yesterday told the legislature that training and preparations are under way for the commissioning of the two vessels.

When asked how the ships would improve the nation’s defense capability, Lee said that the Perry-class’ anti-submarine capabilities are superior to those of the navy’s eight Cheng Kung-class frigates.

The two frigates, built in the 1980s and named the USS Taylor and USS Gary by the US Navy, were delivered in May last year.

Renamed Ming Chuan (銘傳) and Feng Chia (逢甲), they are to join the navy’s 146th Fleet based in Penghu and would be deployed on patrols in the Taiwan Strait, the navy said.

The vessels are highly mobile and equipped with SQQ-89 undersea warfare combat systems and SQR-19 sonar systems, both of which the navy said would bolster their anti-submarine capabilities.

In December 2014, then-US president Barack Obama authorized the sale of four Perry-class frigates to Taiwan.

The government allocated about NT$5.5 billion for the purchase of two of the ships.

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