TAIPEI, Taiwan - A launching ceremony for a new 3,000-ton patrol vessel that will be joining Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration (CGA) later this year was held in the southern city of Kaohsiung yesterday.
The ceremony was held at a shipyard in the city as the vessel, named the Kaohsiung, serial number CG-129, was officially transferred to the water.
Speaking during the ceremony, CGA Deputy Minister Yu Ming-hsi (尤明錫) said the vessel is named Kaohsiung because it will be responsible for patrolling seas off the southern port city.
The vessel will be responsible for safeguarding R.O.C. territorial claims and fishing rights in the southern sea, he said.
He added that the vessel will officially join the CGA fleet this November.
The patrol vessel has a length of 119 meters, a width of 15.2 meters and carries a maximum crew of 50. The ship is also equipped with weapons systems including a 40mm gun fire control system and 20mm cannons to beef up the CGA's patrols and operations in the open sea, according to the CGA.
The 3,000-ton vessel is one of the two largest CGA ships. A sister ship of the Kaohsiung, the Yilan, serial number CG-128, was officially launched this January.
The Yilan will be responsible for patrolling Taiwan's northeastern seas, the CGA said.
The two ships are part of a total of 37 ships being commissioned under a 10-year plan under a NT$24.07 billion budget to beef up the capacity of the CGA to enforce the law, carry out rescue operations and safeguard Taiwan's fishing rights.
After the beef-up, the number of ships in the CGA's fleet will increase to 173 at a total of 36,000 tons.
The CGA commissioned two new ships last March, including the 2,000-ton frigate "Hsinbei," meaning New Taipei, and a 1,000-ton patrol boat, the "Hsunhu No. 8."