Detail analysis of Taiwan Navy

The Republic of China Navy is also called the ROC Navy and, colloquially, the Taiwan Navy.

Taiwan Navy, WWII. It was called the Chinese Navy during World War II and before the Republic of China left the country. Due to Taiwan’s ambiguous political position and not to be confused with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, the phrase is used locally but less worldwide.

The primary task of the Taiwanese Navy today is to protect and defend the remaining areas of Taiwan and the sea lanes under its jurisdiction from any possible attack or invasion.

Operations include maritime patrols in the Taiwan Strait and nearby waters and wartime counter-attack and counter-invasion preparation.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) Marine Corps (ROCMC) is also a branch. 40,000 Taiwan Navy soldiers will work in 2022. Taiwan has 128 vessels and 28 air platforms.

Classes of 128 Ships:

  • 4 Destroyers
  • 22 Frigates
  • 14 Corvettes
  • 31 Assault/Missile Bot
  • 13 Mine Warfare Ships
  • 7 Amphibious Tank Landing Crafts
  • 4 Submarines
  • 33 Various Support Ships

Taiwan Navy Destroyers

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Kee Lung Class (DDG-1801) ROCS Kee Lung and (DDG-1805) ROCS Ma Kong

Taiwan’s largest warships are Kee Lung class destroyers. Kee Lung class warships were American Kidd class destroyers. Taiwan (Republic of China Navy)purchased and reactivated four Kidd-class ships in 2001 with US approval.

All four went to the Taiwanese Navy, thanks to Kuang Hua VII. The ships were sold for US$732 million, including equipment improvements, overhaul, activation, training, and a reduced missile load of 148 SM-2 Block IIIA and 32 RGM-84L Block II Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Charleston reactivated VSE/BAV.

On December 17, 2005, the first two ships arrived at Su-ao, a military port in eastern Taiwan, the (ex-DDG-994) USS Callaghan and (ex-DDG-995) USS Scott, and started service. At the receiving ceremony, they were named ROCS Kee Lung (DDG-1801) and ROCS Su Ao (DDG-1802).

 In ship class nomenclature, Taiwan referred to these ships as Kee Lung-class destroyers with ships named after military ports in Taiwan. The remaining two ships, (ex DDG-993) USS Kidd and (ex DDG-996) USS Chandler, were delivered in 2006 and were designated ROCS Tso Ying (DDG-1803) and ROCS Ma Kong (DDG-1805), respectively.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
(DDG-1805) Firing SM-2 Missile from ROCS Ma Kong

The opposition-led Legislative Yuan initially raised enough money to acquire half of the SM-2 missiles that only destroyers could carry. The annual budget for 2007 included an additional one hundred SM-2MR missiles. This was done to ensure that each of the four ships could carry its maximum SM-2 payload.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Hsiung Feng 3 (HF-3) Missile

Frigate:

The backbone of the Taiwan Navy’s frigate fleet is the Cheng Kung class frigates, built under license in Taiwan in the 1990s as part of the Kuang Hua I project.

(PFG-1107) ROCS Tzu I
(PFG-1107) ROCS Tzu I

Before buying the Kee Lung (Kidd) class destroyers in 2005, these frigates were Taiwan’s principal area of air defense. Instead of Harpoon anti-ship missiles like the Oliver Hazard Perry-class, the Cheng Kung class has 8 Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) missiles.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
(PFG-1106) ROCS Yueh Fei

In 2001 (PFG-1101), ROCS Cheng Kung was re-equipped with 4 Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) medium-range supersonic missiles that can be used against air and ground targets, replacing the 4 Hsiung Feng II missiles. 

In 2009 (PFG-1105), ROCS Chi Kuang was seen in the same configuration. All other ships in the class received the new missile after major modernizations.

All HF-2 missiles were initially removed. 8 HF-2 AShMs would replace the 4-8 Harpoon Mk 13 in the launcher magazine. When the ship launched, the Mk 92 CDS was upgraded, and the Harpoon control mode and capability were removed. These ships receive 12–16 AShMs from 8 HF-3 supersonic AShMs.

However, the Legislative Yuan refused to provide funding for the CDS upgrade, and ROCN had to be content with only 4 HF-2 and 4 HF-3 configurations.

All ships have a Link 16 data connection installed. Seven of the eight ships are equipped with Bofors 40 mm/L70 guns for both surface and anti-aircraft use.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Cheng Kung Class (PFG-1105) ROCS Chi Kuang

In 2014, the Taiwan Navy announced its plan to develop a naval air defense missile system derived from the land-based Sky Bow system. Cheng Kung class frigates are estimated to be one of the potential platforms to carry the system.

On November 5, 2012, Taiwan announced that the US government would sell to Taiwan two Perry-class frigates, which are about to retire from the US Navy, for $240 million and will be delivered in 2015. 

It was signed by US President Obama in 2013-2014 and authorized the sale of up to 4 frigates to Taiwan. Eventually, two ships were selected and reactivated by VSE Corporation; Transferred to Taiwan on March 9, 2017.

 

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Chi Yang Class (FFG-935) ROCS Lan Yang Fires RUR-5 ASROC Missile

NCSIST took up support for the SM-1 and related launch systems and upgraded the missiles after the US stopped supporting them. SM-1 upgrades include an active seeker and a stronger rocket engine.

The Mk-75 main guns of the class have been refurbished/modernized and have an improved rate of fire of 100 rounds per minute.

The Taiwan Navy now has 6 Knox-class frigates in service, which are very old. (8 there were, 2 were retired) In the 1990s, the US agreed to transfer eight Knox-class frigates to the Republic of China Navy (ROCN). 

Anticipating the future challenges of maintaining steam facilities on these ships, Taiwan initially devised an ambitious plan to replace these facilities with diesel engines.

 However, this plan was shelved due to budgetary considerations and the purchase of new ships. These frigates were renamed the Chi Yang class and assigned to the ROCN 168th Patrol Squadron.

By 2005, ROCN transferred many systems from its Gearing-class modified WWII ex-destroyers to seven Chi Yang class destroyers. The SM-1MR Standard missile launchers, H-930 modular combat system, DA-08 air/surface search radar, and STIR-180 illumination radar are examples.

Ten SM-1 missiles are positioned on two forward twin box launchers atop the helicopter hangar and two triple box launchers between the port and starboard aiming stack and the hangar on each Chi Yang class frigate. (FFG-932) Chi Yang is not modernized.

The ASW (Submarine Defense Warfare) capability of the Chi Yang class is provided by SQS-26 bow-mounted sonar, SQS-35(v) VDS, SQR-18(v)1 passive TAS, MD500 ASW helicopterMk-16 8 -cell Harpoon. 

It is the RUR-5 ASROC system and four Mk46 324 mm (12.8 in) torpedoes. The frigate will carry two Harpoon SSMs and six ASROCs in the Mk-16 box launcher while on ASW patrol.

Regarding the obsolete combat system and aging ships on board, the class is expected to be replaced by the newly built Light Frigate and the Cheng Kung class.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Kang Ding Class (PFG-1202) ROCS Kang Ding

The Kang Ding class frigate is based on the French La Fayette class frigate design built by DCNS for Taiwan. China’s defensive stance is towards the Taiwan Strait, so the Taiwanese Navy constantly strives to upgrade its anti-submarine warfare capabilities. 

The $1.75 billion deal with France in the early 1990s is an example of this acquisition strategy. Six ships are equipped to perform both ASW and surface attacks. Exocet was replaced by the Taiwan-developed Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) anti-ship missile, and the air defense warfare/warfare (AAW) system became the Sea Chaparral. 

The main weapon is an Oto Melara 76mm Mk-75 cannon, similar to its Singapore counterpart, Formidable. Some problems have been reported in the integration of Taiwanese and French systems.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Taiwan Navy S-70C ThunderHawk ASW Helicopter

The Sea Chaparral SAM system is considered inadequate for defense against aircraft and anti-ship missiles. Therefore the ROC (Taiwan) Navy planned to upgrade its air defense capabilities with the native TC-2N in 2020. 

Future ROCN surface combatants will launch AMRAAM-class missiles vertically. However, fixed inclined ramps above the deck may raise these French frigates more safely.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Sea Chaparral Air Defense System

Taiwan will update its frigates of this class with air defence and combat systems; modernizing the ships’ trap launch systems under a 2020 contract will start in 2022. The class can reach 25 knots (46 km/h) and 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km) / 4,600 ml).

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Tuo Chiang Class (PGG-619) ROCS Ta Chiang

Corvette/Missile Boat:

CSBC constructs the patrol vessel/corvette of the Ching Chiang class for the Taiwan Navy. This class of ship was originally equipped with the HF-1 anti-ship missile, one 40mm anti-aircraft gun, and one 20mm cannon, and it was named after the Jingjiang river in Guangdong.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Tuo Chiang Class (PGG-619) ROCS Ta Chiang-min

Between 2014 and 2021, 3 ships were built, and two entered service. It is planned to build 12 in total.

The CSBC built the patrol ship/corvette of the Ching Chiang class for the Taiwan Navy. The first ships in this class, named after the Jingjiang river in Guangdong, had the HF-1 anti-ship missile, one 40mm anti-aircraft gun, and one 20mm cannon.

In 2012, ROCN began modernising the Ching Chiang class to compete with PRC talent. The main upgrades were installing four HF-3 supersonic anti-ship missile launchers and replacing some ships’ 40mm guns with the OTO Melara 76mm naval cannon.

During the 2020 Han Kuang Exercise, a Ching Chiang-class patrol ship with electronic warfare equipment disrupted Chinese spy ship signals. On February 1, 2021, class leader PGG-603 Ching Chiang retired.

The Republic of China Navy is equipped with the Kuang Hua VI-class missile boat (ROCN). 2003 saw the unveiling of the prototype, which entered service in 2010.

The Kuang Hua VI project was first proposed in 1996 and was intended to replace the ROCN’s Hai Ou-class missile boats.

The missile boat’s design would be covert, so it would not carry any air or surface search radar on board other than maritime radar. The missile boat’s targeting information is obtained from the shore and other major naval combatants via the data link.

In 2003, Taiwan’s CSBC Corporation (formerly China Ship Building Corporation, CSBC) won the contract to build 30 Kuang Hua VI missile boats.

ROCN and CSBC would thereafter build 30 ships, which they would share with two civilian shipyards at the end of 2011 in batches of two missile carriers for manufacturing. On November 26, 2007, the first two missile boats began construction. +30 missile boats are in service.

Submarine

Hai Shih-class submarines are GUPPY II-modernized US Navy Tench- and Balao-class submarines from World War II. Taiwan purchased two retired US submarines in the 1970s.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
(SS-792) Hai Bao Submarine

In January 2017, it announced that two submarines [(SS-791) ROCS Hai Shih and (SS-792) ROCS Hai Bao] will receive a modernization to extend their service life to 2026, making them the longest-serving submarine in history. 

The sub is still operational and is reportedly capable of combat. The $19 million refurbishment is to improve the hull and navigational elements of the diesel ship.

In the mid-1980s, the (previously Zwaardvis) Hai Lung (Sea Dragon) class was acquired from the Netherlands. Under the Indigenous Defense Submarine program, a class of reserve subs is being constructed.

There were plans for more boats of this class, and in October 1983, the Dutch government met with Taiwan to talk about ordering two more submarines. Half of the $800 million order was to be paid for by civilian orders from Taiwan’s investments in the Netherlands.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy

 However, the deal failed as mainland China pressured the Dutch government. The Dutch government rejected an order for four more submarines in 1992 after China dropped diplomatic ties with the Netherlands.

The Hai Lung-class submarines are intended to provide Taiwan with the ability to deter Chinese naval blockades and protect the island’s commerce by keeping sea lanes open. In addition, both submarines can be used to block Chinese ports, but it is unlikely that China will counteract the submarine fleet.

In 2005, it was reported that Chien Lung-class submarines would be modernized to launch the UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile. In 2008, the US Department of Defense notified the United States Congress of the sale of 32 UGM-84 Harpoon Block II missiles to Taiwan and two weapons control systems, other related equipment, and services. 

Delivery of the Harpoon missile began in 2013 and was completed in 2016. The modernization enables it to attack Hai Lung-class submarines, naval targets such as Shanghai Port, and nuclear submarines at the secret naval base in Yulin. Submarines can now attack targets both at sea and on land with Harpoon missiles.

The Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS) Program is an indigenous project to domestically develop and build a class attack submarine for the Navy of the Republic of China. Construction of the first submarine began in 2020 and will enter service by 2025. It is aimed to produce a total of 8 of these new domestic submarines.

Landing Ships:

The Chung Hai-class landing craft was Taiwan’s first landing craft. The Chung Hai class is the American LST-542 class built during World War II. 4 members of the Chung Hai class, which entered service in 1948, are still in active service.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
ROCS (LST-205) Chung Chien

 

The Taiwan Navy’s most modern landing craft, 2 Newport class (in Taiwan Navy), also purchased from the USA, the Chung-He class entered service in the 2000s and is superior in every way to the much older Chung-Hai class. It includes armored vehicles, tanks, helicopters, etc. 

The Taiwan Navy’s first dock landing craft (LSD) was purchased from the USA, just like the tank landing craft. ROCS (LSD-193) Hsu Hai The US-built Anchorage-class USS Pensacola entered service with the Taiwanese Navy in 2000 after serving from 1971 to 1999. 

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
ROCS (LPD-1401) Yushan

Although not in the Taiwanese Navy, this ship has room for 3 LCAC (Hovercraft – Air Cushioned Landing Vehicle) or 50 AAV-7 Amphibious armored vehicles, in addition to a 330-man marine platoon.

Taiwan started to work in 2015 to defeat the aging landing ship fleet. In September 2018, Taiwan ratified the contract for the first amphibious assault ship built in Taiwan. This new class, called the Yushan class, was built by a local shipyard, CSBC Corporation. 

Four are planned to be produced, with the first one entering service around 2021. It has roughly similar characteristics to the US Navy’s San Antonio class but with a slightly smaller displacement.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
ROCS (LST-232) Chung Ho

For the ship’s self-defense, a 76mm navy cannon, a close weapon system (CIWS) turret, two 12.7mm machine guns in the foreground, and launchers capable of deploying Hsiung Feng II and III, anti-ship and ground attack cruise missiles have been added to the ship.

The Yushan class ships are 153 meters (502 ft) long, 23 meters (75 ft) wide and have a standard displacement of 10,000 tons. The class has a 6.1-meter draft, a maximum speed of 21 knots (39 km/h), and a range of 7,000 miles (11,000 km). 

The ships can carry 673 amphibious units and 10 AAV7s. Apart from that, Taiwan has its own armored vehicle, etc. can also use its vehicles on board. The ship has a single flight deck with two hangars that can accommodate a Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopter.

Naval Aviation:

P-3C Orion:

The Taiwan Navy’s tool that will play the biggest role against Chinese submarines is definitely the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. 12 P-3Cs and associated equipment and services were purchased from the United States for $1.9 billion in 2007 after a six-year delay. The deliveries of 12 aircraft were completed as of 2017.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft

It has been stated that the purchased aircraft will replace the fleet of 11 S-2T maritime patrol aircraft, which have been in service for more than 40 years. The P-3C Orion has been used for many years by many countries, especially the USA, until the arrival of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The 12 P-3Cs the Taiwan Air Force received have been modernized to provide an additional 15,000 flight hours.

Taiwan Navy S-70C ThunderHawk ASW HelicopterIt is available in three “redundant” bodies that can convert to the EP-3E (SIGINT-Signal Intelligence) standard. In May 2014, Lockheed Martin signed a contract to upgrade and overhaul all 12 P-3Cs for completion by August 2015. The modernization has recently ended. P-3C Orion AGM-84, MK-46, depth bombs, etc. Can use multiple ammunition.

S-70C(M)-1/2 Thunderhawk ASW:

S-70C(M)-1/2 Thunderhawk ASW (Submarine Defense Warfare) Helicopters make up the bulk of the Taiwan Navy’s naval aviation. Since 1990, the Taiwan Navy has started to take the S-70C(M)-1 ThunderHawk helicopter into its inventory.

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Taiwan Navy S-70C ThunderHawk ASW Helicopter

S-70C(M)-1/2 Thunderhawk ASW (Submarine Defense Warfare) Helicopters make up most of the Taiwan Navy’s naval aviation. Since 1990, the Taiwan Navy has started to take the S-70C(M)-1 ThunderHawk helicopter into its inventory.

The arrival of the S-70C(M) ThunderHawk helicopter to the Taiwan Navy was in 1990. The first ThunderHawk was officially delivered to ROCN in the USA on July 19, 1990. In January 1991, S-70C(M)-1, 16 pilots, and 32 maintenance crews were sent to Florida and trained there.

After returning to Taiwan in June 1991, these helicopters were reassigned to the newly commissioned 701st HSL under the auspices of the Fleet Helicopter Group. 

The 701st HSL immediately began its transformation training, which lasted until the end of 1992, followed by intensive operational training. It reached full operational status in March 1994.

In the 2000s, the more advanced S-70C(M)-2 Thunderhawk entered service. A total of 21 S-70C(M)-1/2 helicopters were put into service, but three were lost in accidents. 

The S-70s received serial numbers between 2301 and 2326. Serial numbers 2304, 2314, and 2324 have been omitted as the number 4 is associated with ‘death’ in Chinese.

Hughes MD 500-ASW Defender :

Before Taiwan’s S-70C(M) ThunderHawk ASW (Anti Submarine Warfare) helicopters arrived, Hughes received the MD 500-ASW Defender helicopters. Taiwan ordered twelve 500MD/ASWs in 1977 under the program code “Seahawk.”

A Detailed Analysis of the Taiwan Navy
Hughes MD 500-ASW Defender

 Following an accident in 1987 in which an MD 500-ASW was lost, Taiwan ordered an unarmed version instead of the armed version. This helicopter, serial number 6915, is used for training. A total of 13 helicopters are in active service (one of which was received unarmed instead of the one that crashed in 1987).

The MD 500-ASW is Taiwan’s first anti-submarine warfare helicopter. These helicopters have a Bendix RDR-1300 search radar mounted in a nose radome offset to the port side. One towed ASQ-81C(V)2 magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) may be carried on the starboard hull. 

The skids have been raised to provide extra space for one or two Mk44 or Mk46 torpedoes and smoke markers carried under the fuselage. Still, normally only one torpedo is carried to maximize durability and range.

MD 500s have serial numbers 6901 through 6915. Serial number 6904 has been omitted as the number 4 in Chinese is associated with ‘death.’

Marine Air Accidents:

  • On September 11, 1987, an MD 500-ASW helicopter crashed near Nanau, Yilan county. One pilot was lost in the accident.
  • On January 1, 1990, the MD 500-ASW helicopter with tail number 6906, under the command of former ROCN Commander-in-Chief Admiral Chung-Lien Ku (then Vice Admiral), crashed into the sea off Tsoying. While there was no loss of life, the helicopter fuselage, which was pulled out of the water, was used for training for a while and was later transferred to Hualien Air Base for display.
  • On January 16, 1990, the MD 500-ASW helicopter crashed, killing 2 crew members.
  • On January 12 1994, S-70 with tail number 2311 crashed into the sea while taking off from ROCS Cheng Kung on the Southwest coast (PFG-1101). One crew member died.
  • On January 11, 2005, the MD 500-ASW with tail number 6912 had to land the helicopter at 10:10 am on a field in Kaohsiung County after its engine failed. The impact broke the vertical landing gear, but none of the pilots, co-pilots, or crew chiefs were injured.
  • On the evening of October 19, 2005, the S-70, tail number 2316, which was doing joint training with the I (PFG-1107) ROCS Tzu frigate, crashed into the sea off Tsoying with its three crew. The co-pilot’s body was retrieved in half an hour. However, the other two crew and the helicopter were never found.
  • On October 21, 2008, the S-70 with tail number 2321 crashed into the sea during ASW training. Two crew members died in the accident. 2 of them were injured, while two could not be reached.

Taiwan Marine Air Inventory:

  • 18 Sikorsky S-70C Thunderhawks
  • 13 MD 500-ASW Defenders
  • 12 Lockheed P-3C Orions
  • 3 Lockheed EP-3E Orions