Taiwan starts construction of anti air warfare AAW light frigate

According to information published by the Taiwanese gov on November 17, 2023, Taiwan held steel cutting ceremony of its anti-air warfare (AAW) version light frigate for the Navy's program.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Steel cutting ceremony of the first Taiwanese Anti Air Warfare light frigate. (Picture source: Taiwanese gov)

This initiative, a key part of the indigenous shipbuilding program, is being carried out in collaboration with the US company Gibbs & Cox for design and Taiwan's CSBC Corporation for construction, aiming to deliver one anti-air warfare (AAW) and one anti-submarine warfare (ASW) version ship by October 2026.

The light patrol vessels, designed to bolster Taiwan's defense in the Taiwan Strait and around its outlying islands, have a displacement of 2,500 to 3,000 tons. With a total budget of TWD 24.549 billion, the project began in 2019 and is scheduled for completion in 2026.

The ships' construction involves Gibbs & Cox, a subsidiary of the American defense group Leidos, responsible for the design, while CSBC Corporation handles the construction.

As part of their advanced capabilities, the light frigates will be equipped with medium-range air defense missiles and ER (extended-range) supersonic anti-ship missiles, including Taiwan's indigenous "Sea Sword II" air defense missiles and "Hsiung Feng III" supersonic anti-ship missiles.

They will feature the ARTISAN 3D medium-range radar from BAE Systems, capable of detecting small objects and efficiently tracking targets up to 25 kilometers away while simultaneously monitoring over 900 targets in different air layers and counteracting interference equivalent to 10,000 mobile phone signals.

Interestingly, Gibbs & Cox's recent presentation at the 2023 Indo-Pacific Maritime Expo in Australia, where they pitched the AUSLF patrol ship design, hinted at the potential design of Taiwan's light patrol vessels.

The company revealed that this design was based on a model for an ally navy scheduled to start construction the following week, with delivery of two ships by 2026.