January 15, 2010:
The Taiwanese Navy wants to buy eight more used Perry class frigates from the United States, and equip them with an Aegis air defense system. The Perry's are 4,100 ton ships that have a crew of 220 and are normally armed with a 76mm gun, six tubes for launching Mk 46 anti-submarine torpedoes, and a 20mm auto cannon as anti-missile defense. As built, the Perry's has a missile launcher for SM-1 anti-aircraft or Harpoon anti-ship missiles (from a 40 missile magazine), but these were removed from all U.S. Perrys in 2004. This was done because U.S. allies needed the dwindling supply of SM-1 missiles more than U.S. ships did. The SH-60 helicopters carried by the Perrys could still use their smaller Penguin anti-ship missiles. The Perrys have air search radar and sonar, and can carry two helicopters. Top speed is 55 kilometers an hour. If built today, the Perry's would cost about $300 million each.
The Taiwanese government needs to do something about its surface force, which now consist of 20 old, former U.S. Navy, destroyers and frigates, and six French frigates, which entered service in the 1990s. The U.S. is retiring its remaining Perrys, and has the capability to refurbish and upgrade them. It is currently doing this for a Perry that is going to Pakistan.