The last of eight high-speed missile frigates ordered by the Taiwanese navy will be delivered on March 9. There had been a three year interval between the completion of the eighth ship and the seven previous ones, but the decade-old policy to beef up Taiwanese naval defense capabilities is nearly finished.
Patterned after the U.S-designed Perry-class warship, the 4,100 ton Tien Tan has finished the most difficult phrase of sea trials. It has a maximum speed of 52 kilometers an hour and carries two indigenously-designed Hsiung Feng II (Male Bee) surface-to-surface missile launchers.
The Taiwanese Navy previously planned to install the Aegis system on the Tien Tan, but due to lack of space and budgetary limitations, the China Ship Building Corporation had to complete it along the same lines as the previous seven Cheng Kung Class frigates. - Adam Geibel