Taiwan on April 13 unveiled new amphibious warfare that can be used to land troops and bolster supply to vulnerable islands offshore China and in the South China Sea. according to Taipei Times, the $163 million ship is designed to meet operational requirements for amphibious assault and personnel and material transport, as well as disaster prevention, relief and humanitarian aid. Built by CSBC Corp, the 153m-long and 23m-wide vessel can support a marine battalion of 673 soldiers with helicopters, amphibious assault vehicles, craft and light and heavy utility vehicles.
The 10,000-tonne ship is named ‘YuShan’ and it is named after Taiwan’s tallest mountain. The ship will enter service next year and it will be armed with cannon for use against air and surface targets, anti-aircraft missiles and rapid-fire Phalanx close-in anti-aircraft and anti-missile guns. While formally naming the ship in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, President Tsai Ing-wen said that the ship represented a “milestone” in Taiwan’s indigenous warship-building plans.
Tsai said that the ship is “designed and built in accordance with the needs of national defense combat training”.
Important milestone for domestic shipbuilding in Taiwan!— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. 🇹🇼 (@MoNDefense) April 13, 2021
The latest #LPD “Yu Shan”, implying #ROCNavy has no fear of defying danger and pursuing excellence, has launched today! Yu Shan is also the first indigenous amphibious transport dock in #ROCNavy. Keeping #protectourcountry. pic.twitter.com/u48tNXM8Xo
The launch of ‘Yu Shan’ amid a time when Taiwan has been boosting its domestic military industries and is upgrading facilities on the Pratas islands in the South China Sea that also claimed by China. The launch also followed a report from Taiwan’s defence ministry that China sent 25 warplanes into Taiwan’s southern aerial space on Monday, a move seen as a warning from Beijing that it has the ability to conquer the island should it choose to. Last week, China had also announced its aircraft Liaoning and associated vessel be holding drills near Taiwan to help it “safeguard national sovereignty, security and developmental interests”.
Taiwan, on the other hand, has started the mass production of a long-range missile along with developing three other models, in a bid to develop its strike capacity as Chinese pressure intensified. China has always considered Taiwan as its own ‘breakaway province’ and has repeatedly warned of using force against the ‘elements’ that demand Tapei’s independence. However, Taiwan officially recognises itself as the Republic of China (ROC) even though Beijing has said Taiwan’sindependence means war’. The Democratic and self-ruled island lived under the constant threat of invasion by China.