VESSEL REVIEW | Anping & Chenggong – Versatile patrol catamarans for Taiwanese coast guard

Chenggong (Photo: TCGA)
Chenggong (Photo: TCGA)

The Taiwan Coast Guard Administration (TCGA) has taken delivery of two new patrol vessels from Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Company (JSSC) based in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

Anping (named after a district in the city of Tainan in southern Taiwan) and Chenggong (Chinese for "success") are the first two units of a planned class of 12 cataraman patrol vessels to be built by Jong Shyn for the TCGA.

With each one boasting a length of 65.4 metres, a beam of 14.8 metres, a hull draught of 2.1 metres, and a displacement of 600 tonnes, the two Anping-class vessels are modified variants of the Tuo Chiang-class stealth catamaran corvettes that were designed and built by local company Lung Teh Shipbuilding for the Republic of China Navy (RoCN). The main differences evident in the coast guard catamarans are the lack of missile, torpedo, and heavy naval gun armament due to the vessels' primary role of maritime law enforcement.

The Anping-class catamarans have been designated as offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for use in maritime sovereignty, anti-smuggling, and fisheries enforcement missions within Taiwan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), with Anping covering the southern coast and Chenggong being assigned to patrol eastern waters. Secondary functions will include search and rescue (SAR) and firefighting.

The catamarans are each equipped with 20-millimetre autocannons mounted on remote weapon stations, a high-pressure water cannon with a reach of 120 metres, and 42 Zhenhai 70-millimetre high-explosive unguided rockets. The TCGA has said that the rockets will be used mainly as a defensive measure against swarms of small hostile boats.

Anping <em>(Photo: Office of the President, Republic of China)</em>
Anping (Photo: Office of the President, Republic of China)

Although intended primarily for the maritime law enforcement role, the TCGA catamarans may be modified to allow the installation of up to 16 Hsiung Feng II or III medium-range surface-to-surface missiles and their launchers. This will enable the catamarans to operate as ad hoc missile-launching platforms that will augment the RoCN's existing anti-ship and land attack capabilities in the event of war. JSSC said the installation of the missiles can be made rapidly should it become necessary.

The vessels can reach a cruising speed of 35 knots and a maximum speed of 44 knots even while operating under Beaufort scale nine wind conditions. JSSC said the catamarans' rated cruising speed is noteworthy, as contemporary monohull vessels of similar 600 tonnes displacement are often limited to cruising at 30 knots. At an even more economical sailing speed of 12 knots, each catamaran can easily cover 2,000 nautical miles before requiring refueling.

The main engines comprise a quartet of MTU diesels with a total installed power of over 15,000 kW. Each engine drives an electronically-controlled HamiltonJet HT900 waterjet that provides high efficiency at medium to high speeds and can also be used for dynamic positioning even in high sea states. When used in DP mode, the waterjets significantly enhance the catamarans' ability to safely recover maritime accident survivors under a wide range of weather and sea conditions far from shore.

There is also flight deck space on each catamaran for accommodating either a utility/SAR helicopter or a rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle to aid in EEZ surveillance duties.

Anping & Chenggong
SPECIFICATIONS
Type of vessel:Patrol vessels
Flag:Taiwan
Owner:Taiwan Coast Guard Administration
Operator:Taiwan Coast Guard Administration
Designer:Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Company, Taiwan
Builder:Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Company, Taiwan
Length overall:65.4 metres
Beam:14.8 metres
Draught:2.1 metres
Displacement:600 tonnes
Capacity:Helicopter; unmanned aerial vehicle
Main engines:4 x MTU, each 3,750 kW
Propulsion:4 x HamiltonJet HT900 waterjets
Maximum speed:44 knots
Cruising speed:35 knots
Range:2,000 nautical miles
Other equipment installed:Flight deck
Armaments:2 x 20mm autocannons; 70mm unguided rockets; 16 surface-to-surface missiles (for wartime use only)
Firefighting equipment:Water cannon
Type of fuel:Diesel

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