Refitted minehunters set to arrive from US in July


TAIPEI — Two Osprey-class coastal minehunting ships that the military has purchased from the United States are scheduled to be delivered to Taiwan in July after being refitted and reactivated, military sources said yesterday. The two minehunters will be commissioned into service in October to help beef up the Navy’s minehunting and minesweeping capabilities to counter the threat of China using naval mines to impose a sea blockade against Taiwan in the event of conflict, the sources said. The U.S. first announced the sale of the two Osprey-class minehunters — the USS Oriole and USS Falcon — in 2006. They formed part of a US$6.4 billion arms package notified to the U.S. Congress in January 2010. The USS Oriole was commissioned in 1995, while the USS Falcon was commissioned in 1997. They were both decommissioned from U.S. naval service in 2007.