Taiwan's first squadron of mine-laying ships has been formed, with a price tag of more than NT$900 million. President Tsai Ing-wen presided over the inauguration ceremony.
President Tsai Ing-wen officially announced the formation of a squadron of rapid mine-laying ships. She boarded the ship for a tour, accompanied by Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng and Navy Commander Liu Chi-pin. The Ministry of National Defense spent more than NT$900 million to build 4 such ships and all ships have been delivered. On the 14th, President Tsai presided over the inauguration ceremony of the 1st and 2nd mine-laying squadrons of the Navy's 192nd Fleet.
This is the first time that a mine-laying boat squadron has been established in the history of the Navy. Compared with the past, when mines were dropped by manpower, the rapid mine-laying ships can withstand waves and wind to accomplish the task quickly.
Tsai Ing-wen, ROC President: “Mine laying operations at sea in the past were carried out physically by our navy officers and sailors using small landing crafts. Besides the limited speed, the task was also more difficult to perform in bad sea conditions. Now, the new mine-laying ships built by Lungteh, with the automated mine-laying system developed by NCSIST, not only operate in strong wind and waves, but it will also allow our sailors to perform mine-laying operations more quickly and accurately.”
President Tsai emphasized that the rapid mine-laying ships joining the Navy fleet in defending our sea symbolize the achievements of the national defense industry.
The rapid mine-laying ship is manufactured by Lungteh Shipbuilding and has navigation and positioning capabilities. In addition to a top speed of 14 knots and the ability to deploy various types of mines, the ship's biggest highlight is the automated mine-laying system developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology.
Hsu Shu-wei, Deputy Commander, Second Mine-laying Squadron, 192nd Fleet, Navy: “Different parts of our surrounding ocean have different relative currents and wind conditions. We have different restrictions on heading out to sea, which we all have gone through related combat evaluation before deploying.”
Sun Pi-cheng, Captain, 1st Mine-laying Squadron, 192nd Fleet, Navy: “When we lay down mines, it's on the second and third tracks. Mines are prepared in succession so deployment speed is faster.”
As for what role the rapid mine-laying ships will play in future asymmetric operations, the Navy said that they can cooperate with friendly forces to deter and delay the enemy's landing on the island and maintain the security of the Taiwan Strait. At the same time, these new ships will help ensure the smooth and open flow of our country's sea lanes.