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Taiwan to commission last two of four US destroyers
Oct 22, 2006, 10:40 GMT
Taipei - The last two of the four Kidd-class destroyers Taiwan has bought from the US will arrive in Taiwan on Wednesday and join the Taiwan Navy next week, a newspaper said on Sunday.
The two destroyers, coded Tsoying and Makung, will sail into the Su'ao Naval Base on Wednesday. President Chen Shui-bian will preside over a commissioning ceremony for the two vessels on November 1st, the Apple Daily reported.
The destroyers are part of a 610-billion-Taiwan-dollar (18.2- billion-US-dollar) arms sale approved in 2001 by US President George Bush.
The sale includes six PAC-3 anti-missile systems, eight diesel submarines and 12 P-3C anti-submarine aircrafts.
Taiwan took delivery of the first two Kidd-class destroyers and commissioned them last December. The US handed the last two Kidd-class destroyers to Taiwan in August after they had conducted Standard II missile firing tests off San Diego.
The 9,600-tonne Kidd-class destroyer can sail at 32 nautical miles per hour. Its radar has a search range of 400 kilometres, while its anti-aircraft missiles have a range of 150 kilometres.
Although the Kidd-class destroyers have boosted Taiwan's defences against China, Taiwan faces a growing military threat from China - one of the largest military powers in the world.
China has 50 submarines - including eight Russian-made diesel- electric subs - compared to Taiwan's four.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur