By Joseph Yeh, The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — A live-fire test was held at sea off the southern city of Kaohsiung last week, featuring a new 2,000-ton class patrol vessel that will officially join the Coast Guard Administration’s (CGA) fleet later this month, a local newspaper said yesterday. The test was held to check the combat-readiness of the 40-mm cannons that were recently installed on the vessel, called Hsin Bei (新北艦) which means New Taipei, the Chinese-language United Evening News said.
The vessel will join the CGA fleet during a commissioning ceremony on March 30 at a Kaohsiung port to be presided by President Ma Ying-jeou. An exercise will be held later in the same day following the ceremony when the president is scheduled to board the vessel to sail near the Diaoyutais seas in the East China Sea, it noted. The vessel is reportedly the first CGA ship equipped with 40-mm cannons, the newspaper said.
The cannons were installed by Taoyuan-based Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (中山科學研究院), Taiwan military’s main research and development institute, it noted. The test was a success, the report quoted Chung Shan Institute sources as saying. The vessel will be responsible for conducting patrol operations on Taiwan’s side of the temporary law enforcement line with Japan near the Diaoyutais. Patrols will be conducted around the clock with the aim of protecting Taiwanese fishermen operating in the disputed area.