Taiwan’s Republic of China Navy (ROCN) recently released images of exercises which it held in the Taiwan Straits, apparently in response to the exercise conducted by China’s PLA Navy in the straits in late July.
Leading participants in the ROCN exercise were two of the service’s smaller missile-armed warships, namely the 171-tonne Kuang Hua-class fast attack craft, and the 500-tonne Ching Chiang patrol ships. Both these classes of warship were built by CSBC in Taiwan.
Ching Chiang-class firing Hsiung Feng III missiles
The Kuang Huas fired Hsiung Feng II anti-shipping cruise missiles, while the Ching Chiangs fired the ultra-high performance Hsiung Feng III.
Also active in the exercise were the ROCN’s two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates. These two 1980s-vintage, 4,200-tonne warships, Ming Chuan (ex-Taylor) and Feng Jia (ex-Gary) were retired from US service in 2015, and were refitted in the USA prior to transfer to Taiwan in 2018. The ships, which like the Kuang Huas are based in the Penghu (Pescadores) Islands), strategically located in the Taiwan Strait, have primarily an anti-submarine role. They fired ASROC anti-submarine missiles during the exercise.
Maritime security expert and columnist, Trevor Hollingsbee was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Senior Superintendent with the Hong Kong Marine Police, Assistant Secretary for Security in the British Hong Kong Government Security Branch, and Intelligence Analyst in the UK Ministry of Defence. As an independent defence and security analyst he has had some 1,500 articles on maritime security, and geopolitical topics, published in a range of international journals and newspapers. He is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, and a past Vice-Chairman of the Institute’s Hong Kong branch.