|Republic of China Navy|
Cheng Kung-class [Perry] FrigateTaiwan's Kuang Hua I [Glorious China] naval modernization program includes the licensed-production of eight Perry-class (Cheng Kung-class) frigates. Taiwan plans to field a navy with an eventual strength of 25 modern frigates. The Navy placed an order for the frigates with the state-run China Shipbuilding Corp. (CSBC) on 08 May 1989. The first Perry-class frigate, "Cheng Kung," started construction on 10 January 1990 and was completed 7 May 1993. Afterward, one frigate was delivered to Taiwan every 11 months. The ROC Navy took delivery of a third missile frigate in 1995, and the fourth in early 1996. Construction on the fifth, sixth and seventh units were underway by 1996, and was completed by November 1998.
With a displacement of 4,000 tons, the frigates are equipped with advanced radar, artillery, torpedo, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles as well as anti-submarine helicopters. The Perry-class frigates are armed with indigenously- produced Hsiung Feng II ASCMs, and air defense weapons systems include the Standard air defense missile. The primary mission of these newer frigates is sea control, particularly the capability to protect the sea lanes beyond the range of coastal aircraft.
Plans for the eighth warship of this class were postponed in 1995 to shift the budget to the construction of a Chin Chiang-class coastal patrol boat. Taiwan had evaluated the possibility of building two more Chen Kung-class warships equipped with a "mini-AEGIS" systems, but the Chen Kung is too small for the system and the performance of the mini-AEGIS might prove sub-standard. The original plan was to install the equipment of an "Aegis-class" cruiser on the eighth Cheng Kung-class frigate. If the experiment was successful, the Navy would build four more Cheng Kung-class frigates with this equipment. However, the installation of the equipment would cause the frigate to rock due to shifting its center of buoyancy upward. Moreover, a Cheng Kung-class frigate would not be able to accommodate all the equipment. If the body of the warship is lengthened and broadened, this would lead to insufficient propulsion power and electric power. Since the risk was too great, the Navy temporarily suspended this project.
In July 1999 Taiwan decided to begin construction of the eighth Chen Kung class frigate, having failed for the moment in efforts to purchase the American AEGIS Advanced Combat System. Taiwan plans to build the ship at a cost of US$300 million.
Builder Propulsion 2 LM2500 gas turbines Length 454 feet / 139 meters Beam 45 feet / 13.7 meters Draft 19 feet / 5.7 meters Displacement 4,200 tons full load Endurance Speed 29 knots Crew 235 Armament 8 - Hsiung II SSM 40 - SM-1MR @ 1 Mk 13 missile launcher 1 - 76mm gun 2 - 40mm/70 AA guns 3 - 20mm guns 1 - 20mm Phalanx CIWS 2 - triple 12.75 inch torpedo tubes Construction