China: September 5, 2000


Taiwan has commissioned four new warships. Three are the last of the 12 River-class 270-ton patrol gunboats. These are the PGG-614 Po Chiang (Po River), the PGG-615 Chan Chiang (Bright River), and the PGG-617 Chu Chiang (Pearl River). Each of these is armed with four Hsiung Feng anti-ship missiles. They were designed by a US company and built in Taiwan. The fourth new warship is a Landing Ship Dock bought from the US. This is the former USS Pensacola, recommissioned in Taiwan as the Hsu Hai. The ship will work with two US tank landing ships bought in 1997 to form a fast-response amphibious readiness group to support the Taiwan Marine Corps. The Hsu Hai replaces two old LSDs (Chung Cheng and Cheng Hai) bought from the US in 1946 and 1947.--Stephen V Cole


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