Six new patrol cutters are to be built after the Coast Guard Administration received approval to build the 3,000-tonne displacement vessels, an official said yesterday.
The Cabinet in July approved the coast guard’s NT$12.9 billion (US$460.27 million) plan to build the ships, which are to be used in exercises with the US coast guard alongside normal duties, the official said on condition of anonymity.
The ships are to be substantially larger and more capable than the biggest cutters the coast guard currently has in service: the Hsun Hu No. 8 and the Hsun Hu No. 9, which are 1,000-tonne vessels, the official said.
The new ships are to augment the coast guard’s ability to carry out its mission and discharge its responsibilities under the Taiwan-US Memorandum of Understanding on Coast Guard Cooperation, which the two countries signed on March 25, they said.
Citing a video conference between the two nations’ coast guards on Aug. 11, the official said that the focus of the collaboration would be to facilitate joint maritime rescue and suppress illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The overall goal of the cooperation is to enhance the joint capabilities of Taiwan and the US in responding to rising challenges at sea, they said.
The budget is separate from a NT$42.65 billion plan to procure several new coast guard patrol vessels, including four 4,000-tonne ships, five 1,000-tonne ships, 17 100-tonne cutters, 50 35-tonne-class patrol boats and 50 multipurpose coastal craft, the source said.
The 3,000-tonne program is to be implemented from next year to 2032, with bidding to begin next year, the official said, adding that the program would help sustain the defense-related ship-building sector.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
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