Taiwan has launched its first rapid mine-laying vessel as part of its efforts to bolster the capabilities of the Republic of China Navy (ROC Navy).
The first-in-class ship is domestically built and was launched at an event at Lung Teh shipyard in Yilan County.
ROC Navy will receive four minelayers as part of the government’s indigenous ship-building project.
Construction of the second ship is currently underway, while the third and fourth vessels are expected to be delivered by the end of next year.
The addition of rapid mine-laying vessels will strengthen ROC Navy’s swift underwater mine-laying capabilities. It is expected to help the navy in preventing enemy vessels from sailing near Taiwan, increasing the safety of the island.
These mine-laying ships will be equipped with a newly developed automatic system and propulsion equipment to expedite the mine-laying process.
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The vessels will also feature T-75 20mm automatic cannons and T-74 machine guns, the ROC Navy confirmed last year.
The launch of the ship comes amid increasing tensions between the US and China, as well as the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a CNBC report, the People’s Republic of China (China) has ramped up military drills around Taiwan in the last few months.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had earlier highlighted that Taiwan is the most important issue in Sino-US ties.