In a significant milestone for the Republic of China Navy (RoCN), Taiwan has officially received its first domestically constructed amphibious assault ship. Named Yu Shan, the vessel was formally handed over by Taiwanese shipbuilder CSBC Corporation on April 30th. The momentous occasion was graced by the presence of Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen. CSBC Corporation was awarded a contract worth TWD 4.635 billion (USD 145.93 million) in April 2018 to construct the ship. The keel was laid down in June 2020, and the vessel was launched in April 2021.
Yu Shan measures 153 meters in length, with a beam of 23 meters and a hull draught of 6 meters. It bears a striking resemblance to the US Navy’s San Antonio class in terms of its primary form factor. Equipped with four diesel engines in a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) configuration, the vessel can achieve a top speed of 21.5 knots. Its maximum range at an economical cruising speed of 13 knots is 12,500 nautical miles. To enhance maneuverability in ports and shallow waters, Yu Shan is also fitted with a bow thruster.
The primary armament of Yu Shan is a 76 mm naval gun. It is further fortified by two Raytheon Mk 15 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) turrets, strategically positioned in the fore and aft sections, providing short-range defense against hostile aircraft and precision-guided munitions. Additionally, the ship is armed with 12.7 mm machine guns for point defense purposes. The class is unusually well armed with two modular missile launchers of either 8 Hsiung Feng II surface-to-surface missiles or 16 Hai Chien surface-to-air missiles.
The ships are able to carry several AAV7 amphibious APCs along with 673 troops. The ships also has a single flight deck with two hangars able to accommodate Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk or the naval Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopters. The class is intended to fill both military and humanitarian roles, as a command ship for amphibious operations, a mothership for the ROCN’s small minelayers, and a general logistics transport capable of supplying islands without harbor facilities.