TAIPEI - The R.O.C. military is scheduled to receive its first batch of two Perry-class frigates from the United States in 2015 to replace its existing fleet of aging frigates, a senior Ministry of National Defence (MND) official said yesterday.
The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Wednesday approved legislation paving the way for the US to sell four Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates to Taiwan.
The bill titled "The Naval Vessel Transfer and Arms Export Control Amendments Act of 2013" still must pass the US Congress.
Asked to comment on when Taiwan is expected to receive the warships, Navy Chief of Staff Kao Tien-chung (高天忠) told lawmakers that the R.O.C Armed Forces could receive the first two ships of the four-vessel order in 2015.
"The US has so far agreed to sell us four frigates, and two of them will be delivered in 2015," Kao said during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.
The MND has allocated NT$5.2 billion in defence spending to buy two frigates from the US, he added.
Kao said the American frigates are expected to replace two aging Knox-class frigates in the Republic of China Navy.
The R.O.C. Navy currently operates eight US-made Knox-class frigates that were built in the 1960s, and later transferred to Taiwan in the 1990s.