Two new fast minelaying boats inaugurated at Zuoying Naval Base – Taiwan English News

President Tsai Ing-wen today, Dec. 14, presided over the inauguration ceremony of two new fast minelaying boats at the Zuoying Naval Base in Kaohsiung City.

The two boats will form the 1st and 2nd Mine Boat Squadrons of the 192nd Fleet (Minesweeper Fleet) of the ROC Navy.

The navy has spent NT$917.7 million commissioning four of the ships which were all delivered by Longteh Shipbuilding Company in 2021.

President Tsai said the shipbuilding program demonstrates Taiwan’s achievements in promoting the defense industry and shows the world Taiwan’s determination to defend the country.

President Tsai said that in the past, minelaying operations at sea were carried out by naval officers and soldiers in landing craft with physical labor. In addition to the limited speed of laying mines, when ocean conditions were poor, the task would be more difficult to execute. The newly built mine-laying boats, equipped with an automated mine-laying system developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCIST), are not only more resistant to wind and waves, but also perform faster and more accurate mine laying operations.

Taiwan Central News Agency quoted naval defense experts who stated that mines are low cost, high yield area denial weapons for operations in the Taiwan Strait; in combination with anti-ship missiles, forming a defensive network and a truly asymmetric combat force.

The new-type fast minelaying boats are 41 meters long, 8.8 meters wide, have a draft of 1.607 meters and a full load displacement of 347 tonnes. The diesel-powered vessels have a maximum operating speed of 14 knots, with a range of over 1,200 nautical miles. They are armed with a T-75 20mm cannon in front, a T-747.62mm platoon machine gun on each side and three automatic mine laying rails.

President Tsai Ing-wen inspects the minelaying system. Photo: Presidential Office.

See previous article: Navy takes delivery of two faster minelaying ships, increasing asymmetric combat power.

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Earnest A. Martinez