The drills were planned and carried out by the Taiwanese Navy in order to investigate the use of coast guard ships as a naval asset during wartime. The exercise was held at the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology’s (NCSIST) Jiupeng area facilities (九鵬基地) and off the coast of eastern Taiwan.
According to the LTN News portal, officers and petty officers of the Taiwanese Navy were deployed aboard the Coast Guard’s Anping-class patrol vessel to control the missiles. After the test firing, the Anping entered the Tsoying (海軍左營基地) naval base in southern Taiwan to remove the missile launchers and other equipment and then proceeded to a port in Hualien County in eastern Taiwan to check whether there was any impact on the ship’s structure. The dock is operated by Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Company (JSSC), which has been building all 15 Anping-class ships.
According to the fleet branch of Taiwan’s Coast Guard Agency (CGA), the significance of the first test-fire of an anti-ship missile from the Anping class is significant to the coast guard and navy, so the ship will return to Tsoying Naval Base to remove the missile launchers and go to Hualien to be examined as soon as possible. According to a local observer, the coast guard cleaned the ship immediately, and no evidence of missile launch remains.
Naval News comments
Taiwanese Coast Guard serves homeland security functions (the regulation of coastal zones under national jurisdiction, the investigation, and seizure of smuggling operations and illegal vessels, etc.) during peacetime and national defense missions during wartime.
As a result, the capacity to convert coast guard vessels into combatants is a key asset because it improves the naval force’s firepower during battle. According to Tayfun Ozberk, a former naval officer and regular contributor to Naval News, the unification of Taiwanese Nave and Coast Guard national security doctrine is critical because they will fight in the same organization during a regional war.
“Such exercises are critical for training two distinct forces within the same organization. We cannot expect them to fight coherently if they do not exercise in peacetime. The missile launch was conducted by Taiwanese Navy officers and petty officers in this drill. This demonstrates that the Taiwanese Coast Guard lacks trained personnel to execute missile launches, which should be addressed. Interaction between two forces, especially at the crew level, is critical for interoperability and mutual training.”
Tayfun Ozberk, Naval Analyst
About Anping-class Patrol Vessel
The Anping-class patrol ship is the Coast Guard variant of the Taiwan Navy’s improved and modified Tuo Chang-class corvette model.
The 600-ton patrol vessel can reach a top speed of 40 knots and has a range of 2,000 nautical miles. The Anping-class is equipped with 2.75-inch rockets, a 20-mm gun, a remote-controlled weapon station, and a high-pressure water cannon with a range of 120 meters.
There is also the option of converting the patrol ship into a missile corvette armed with Hsiung Feng II and/or Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles if required in wartime.
The CGA has commissioned four Anping-class patrol ships since 2020 and plans to commission 15 ships of this class by 2026.
About the Tuo Chiang-class corvette
The Tuo Chiang-class corvette is designed to engage Chinese naval vessels using hit-and-run tactics and is dubbed the “carrier killer” by some Taiwanese media. It reaches a top speed of 40 knots and has a range of 2,000 nautical miles.
The Tuo-chiang class is equipped with the Hsiung Feng- II and Hisung Feng- III anti-ship missiles , the 76-mm main gun OTO, and the Phalanx close-in weapon system. The second and subsequent ships of the class are upgraded and modified, equipped with TC -2N surface-to-air missiles, which the prototype did not have, and they are also the first small ships of the Taiwanese Navy capable of air defense.