The navy held an anti-submarine drill in waters off Greater Kaohsiung yesterday to highlight its combat readiness ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
The drill, which was open to the media, simulated an emergency in which the navy dispatched frigates from Zuoying (左營) Naval Base to counter a potential submarine attack by enemy forces.
Two retrofitted US-made coastal minehunters were deployed to sweep the area for mines, and two Chengkung-class frigates, one of them with an S-70C marine-patrol helicopter aboard, were also deployed to participate in the drill.
The high point of the drill came when the helicopter on the frigate and another S-70C at the naval base were dispatched to locate the “enemy” submarine, followed by a Chingchiang-class patrol vessel’s simulated deployment of a depth charge, which is designed to force a submarine to the surface.
That concluded the exercise, which was conducted in waters about 10 nautical miles (18.5km) from the base, the navy said.
The drill was designed to test the navy’s ability to fend off a possible submarine attack by enemy forces through the use of depth charges and other tactics, navy officials said.
The navy had planned to use a real depth charge, but the plan was canceled due to bad weather conditions, the navy said.
Naval officials said the drill was held to highlight the military’s efforts to stay alert and ensure combat readiness ahead of the holiday, which starts on Jan. 30.
Reporters followed the exercise aboard the frigate Dyihuah — one of six Lafayette-class ships purchased from France in the 1990s.