Extra frequent Chinese language patrols put ‘heavy burden’ on getting older Taiwan frigates By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese language and Taiwanese printed flags are seen on this illustration taken, April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photograph

By Yimou Lee

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The stepped up depth of Chinese language naval patrols close to Taiwan since August is placing a “heavy burden” on the island’s getting older frigate fleet, which is struggling to keep up fight readiness, the Taiwanese defence ministry mentioned on Tuesday.

China, which claims democratically dominated Taiwan as its personal territory, carried out warfare video games close to the island in August responding to a Taipei go to by U.S. Home speaker Nancy Pelosi, and has maintained an elevated army presence since then.

Whereas Taiwan is spending billions of {dollars} on new warships, submarines, missiles and fighter jets, a lot of the tools now in service is decades-old, presenting an enormous problem in coping with China’s army actions.

In a report back to parliament in search of price range approval for a brand new class of frigate, Taiwan’s defence ministry mentioned that the variety of Chinese language ships repeatedly patrolling in waters near Taiwan had doubled to between 4 and 5 a day.

China had expanded the realm during which the ships function from “time to time” patrols within the Taiwan Strait to repeatedly sending them into the waters off southwest and northern Taiwan, it mentioned.

“The navy should ship corresponding forces to watch each day, and ship extra forces to reply relying on the menace stage, which is inflicting a heavy burden on some older ships.”

Taiwan’s navy solely has 26 principal fight ships, together with six Chi Yang-class frigates which were in operation for 3 many years, have previous tools and are more and more exhausting to keep up safely, the ministry mentioned.

“At current, they’re struggling to keep up correct tools and carry out varied fight readiness duties.”

China’s navy is the biggest on the earth, in accordance with the usDepartment of Protection, together with two plane carriers, and total is predicted to develop to 460 ships by 2030.

The Chi Yang-class frigates had been constructed by the USA within the Seventies and commissioned by Taiwan in 1992. The U.S. Navy retired the ships, which it calls the Knox-class, in 1994.

Taiwan’s defence ministry mentioned they’re constructing a brand new class of anti-submarine frigate and anti-aircraft frigate, however the earliest the primary vessels will in service is 2025.

The ministry didn’t say what number of such new ships Taiwan is planning to construct past 2025.

It mentioned the brand new frigates of about 2,000-tonnes can be much like their Chinese language counterparts in measurement and extra adaptable to react to the common presence of Chinese language ships close to Taiwan, which embrace China’s Kind 056 corvettes and Kind 053H3 frigates.

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