Taiwan has launched the first of a new class of transport dock ships which has been named after Taiwan’s tallest mountain Yu Shan.
The 10,000-ton ship will boost the island’s ability to defend itself from the increasingly assertive mainland China.
In addition do transporting troops and equipment, and landing them on beaches, Taiwan’s amphibious warship is said to be capable of launching Hsiung Feng II and 16 Hai Chien missiles from two missile launchers that can hold up to eight missiles, according to reports. The ship also carries a 76mm naval gun and Phalanx close-in weapon systems.
Yu Shan (hull number 1401) was built by Taiwanese shipbuilder China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSBC), who is also building the country’s first locally-developed submarine. The 153-meter will be able to transport close to 700 troops and tracked amphibious vehicles at ranges of up to 7,000 miles.
Taiwan plans to build up to four new ships in the class to complement, and eventually replace, the Newport- and Anchorage-class amphibious ships currently in service.
Yu Shan is expected enter service in 2022, after completing a series of builder’s and state trials.