The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) is this month to begin buiilding the 4,000-tonne-class and 600-tonne-class patrol vessels that it has ordered ahead of planning, sources said on Friday.
The CGA in its annual report to the legislature last year said that the four patrol ships of the 4,000-tonne class that it has ordered are to cost NT$10.437 billion (US$338.73 million), while the 12 patrol boats of the 600-tonne class are to cost NT$12.823 billion.
The 4,000-tonne class patrol ships are a modified variant of the navy’s Tuo Chiang-class corvette, which would enable rapid refitting of coast guard ships for war, if necessary, it said.
Photo: Screen grab from CSBC Corp, Taiwan Web site
The coast guard’s 4,000-tonne class patrol ship has stripped down armament compared with the Tuo Chiang corvette prototype, but the patrol ship would have reserved internal space where weapons and equipment could be installed, it said.
For humanitarian missions, the ship’s sick bay would contain surgical suites and other medical facilities, bringing as much life-saving capability to sea as a field hospital, it said.
When responding to a medical crisis, the patrol ships could perform triage, critical care and rapid transportation to an onshore facility, providing seamless medical care onshore, from anchor or at sea, the coast guard said.
Weaopons systems designed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology for both tonnage classes have passed acceptance evaluation by the Fleet Branch, which is to present its findings for the coast guard’s approval, it said.
Other programs to build six ships of the 1,000-tonne class, 17 of the 100-tonne class, 52 of the 35-tonne class and 50 multirole coastal boats are all on track, it added.
With regard to the proposed vessels, the coast guard last year awarded a contractor the NT$4.675 billion deal for the 35-tonne class boats and the mold for the hulls — made by a manufacturer in Poland — passed inspections in Nzovember last year, it said.
The coast guard said it designed the shipbuilding programs with the input of experts and the defense industry to ensure the timely delivery of ships made to specification at the anticipated cost.
The procurement of patrol vessels would help the coast guard perform its mission, and stimulate the defense and technology sectors, it added.
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