The United States
, to boost Taiwan's defences against China, has delivered to Taiwan two of the four Kidd-class destroyers Taipei has ordered, Taiwan television reported on Sunday.
The hand-over ceremony took place at Charleston, South Carolina
, on Saturday, it said. The two ships will sail to Taiwan via the Panama Canal and with a stop at Guam. They are expected to arrive in Taiwan in mid-December, the TV channel ETTV reported.
The Kidd-class destroyers are part of a 610-billion-Taiwan-dollar (18.2-billion-U.S.-dollar) arms-sale package approved by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2001.
The sale also includes six sets of PAC-3 anti-missile systems, eight diesel submarines and 12 P-3C anti-submarine airplanes. The Taiwan parliament
, however, has been blocking the budget for PAC-3, P-3C and subs, arguing that the price was too high and delivery schedule was too late.
The four Kidd-class destroyers joined the U.S. Navy between 1981 and 1982 and were decommissioned in 1998 and 1999 after having serving half their service life. Since then, they have been in storage.
The 9,000-ton destroyers' radar has a search range of 400 kilometres, while their Standard II anti-aircraft missiles have a range of 150 kilometres.
(Source: Bangkok Post)