Taiwan has launched a new amphibious warship that can carry troops and supplies to offshore islands offshore and the South China Sea, Defense News reported Wednesday.
Built by the CSBC Corp., Taiwan, the $163 million ship is the first of a new class of multimission amphibious vessels.
The 10,600 metric ton Yu Shan, named after Taiwan's highest mountain, is the latest in President Tsai Ing-wen's program to upgrade the country's military capability in the face of pressure from China.
The Yu Shan is designed to meet operational requirements as well as provide disaster and humanitarian aid.
The 153-meter ship can support a marine battalion of 673 soldiers with amphibious assault vehicles, helicopters and light and heavy utility vehicles.
The ship can conduct amphibious assault with anti-ship missiles, in addition to its two anti-aircraft missiles and other weapons.
The ship's launch in the southern port city of Kaohsiung Tuesday was attended by Tsai and Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng.
Tsai called the Yu Shan a "milestone" for Taiwan's shipbuilding capabilities.
"I believe this ship will strengthen the Taiwan navy's ability to fulfil its mission and further solidify our defenses," he said in remarks quoted by Channel News Asia.
The launch followed a report from Taiwan's defense officials that China sent 25 fighter jets into Taiwan's southern airspace Monday.