Two decommissioned Kidd-class US destroyers purchased by the government have departed for Taiwan and will arrive in December, a television station reported yesterday.
A 600-member Taiwanese crew set sail on Saturday with the warships, which were christened Keelung and Suao, from Port Charleston, South Carolina, CTI Cable Station reported.
A launch ceremony was held at the port on Saturday, and some US representatives and South Carolina's Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer attended the elaborate event. This type of event has been rare since Taiwan ended its formal diplomatic relations with the US in 1979.
"The destroyers will boost significantly our air defense and anti-submarine capabilities," Admiral Chen Pang-chih (
Chen made a special trip from Taipei to participate in the launch ceremony.
US Marine General John Allen, the US Department of Defense's principal director for Asia-Pacific Affairs, delivered a speech for the occasion. He said that although US President George W. Bush opposes Taiwan's independence and any unilateral moves by either China or Taiwan to change the status quo, the US is committed to make available defensive arms and defensive services to Taiwan to help it meet its self-defense needs.
The US agreed to sell the government four older Kidd-class destroyers in 2003.
The refurbished destroyers will fill gaps in the navy's fleet air defense and Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities.
The government purchased four of the 8,000-tonne guided-missile ships in 2001 for US$800 million. They were decommissioned by the US navy in 1998, and are expected to remain in service for another 20 years.
The destroyers will bolster the navy's ability to respond to any Chinese attempt to blockade the island or land an invasion force.
The vessels are equipped with Harpoon missiles, five-inch guns as well as anti-air warfare systems.
Under the provisions of its Taiwan Relations Act, the US pledged to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons systems. That law was passed shortly after Washington transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
Given their large displacement, upon their arrival in Taiwan the two decommissioned Kidd-class US destroyers will be docked temporarily at the Suao harbor's deep-water berth.
The two ships will later be relocated to the Tsoying Naval Base in Kaohsiung City after construction of a new deep water wharf at the base is completed.
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of