Taipei, Oct. 1 (CNA) The Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy next month will commission two Perry-class guided missile frigates it bought from the United States, a Navy official said Monday.
Fielding questions during a Legislative hearing, Navy chief of staff Vice Admiral Lee Chung-hsiao (李宗孝) told lawmakers that training and preparations are underway for the commissioning of the two vessels into the Navy sometime in November.
On the question of how the new ships will help improve the nation's defense capability, Lee said they are Perry-class vessels, which means they have much better anti-submarine capabilities than the Navy's existing eight Chengkung-class frigates.
The two military vessels, built in the 1980s and named USS Taylor and USS Gary in the U.S. Navy, were delivered on May 2017.
Renamed Ming Chuan (銘傳) and Feng Chia (逢甲), they will join the Taiwan Navy's 146th fleet based in the outlying island of Penghu and will be deployed to patrol the Taiwan Strait, according to the Navy.
The Perry-class frigates have high mobility and are equipped with the SQQ-89 undersea warfare combat system and the SQR-19 sonar system, both of which the Navy said will beef up its anti-submarine capabilities.
In December 2014, then-U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that authorized the sale of four Perry-class frigates to Taiwan, which allocated about NT$5.5 billion (US$174.8 million) for the purchase of two of the ships.