Taiwan Starts the Construction of New ASW Frigates
As reported by the Taiwanese state-owned news agency CNA, a ceremony was held to start the construction of the new frigates. Two frigates in total are planned to be delivered in 2026.
Taiwan will build a new class of light frigates with 2500 to 3000 tonnes displacements. Designed by Gibbs & Cox, the frigates will be built in anti-submarine warfare and anti-air warfare configurations.
The anti-air warfare configuration will be armed with vertical launch systems for air defence missiles and modular launcher housings, which can house Taiwan’s HF-3 supersonic anti-ship missiles and TC-2N medium-range air defence missiles.
The anti-submarine warfare variant will swap the vertical launch system for additional sensors for anti-submarine warfare but keep the launcher housings to provide both anti-air and anti-surface warfare capabilities.
Said launcher housings are currently in use with Taiwan’s Tuo Chiang-class fast attack craft fitted with various missiles. Four HF-3 or eight TC-2N missiles can be held per launcher housing.
The frigates will be used to patrol sea zones where the Chinese Navy ships sail in proximity. Taiwanese naval doctrine includes small-sized ships packed with high firepower to deter the Chinese Navy, best observed in Tuo Chiang-class fast attack craft carrying supersonic anti-ship and medium-range air defence missiles.