President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) broke a bottle of champagne over the bow of a 4,000-ton coast guard vessel on Tuesday, naming it the "Chiayi" (嘉義), at the christening of Taiwan's largest patrol ship, in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.
At the ceremony, Tsai said the naming of the new vessel after a county in central Taiwan was a historic event and representative of her administration's policy of building indigenous aircraft and vessels.
The 4,000-ton frigate, built by CSBC Corporation in Kaohsiung, is the largest vessel in the Coast Guard Administration's (CGA) fleet and will boost its patrol capability, Tsai said.
In an effort to maximum the vessel's rescue capability, it will be outfitted with negative pressure rooms and an operating theater, she said.
According to the CGA, the patrol ship will also have a helipad to accommodate the Navy's S-70C rescue helicopters and is expected to be ready for service by the end of the year.
The ship was named the "Chiayi" after the county because that is the location of Taiwan's tallest mountain Yushan and home to the biggest annual fisheries harvest in central Taiwan, according to CGA.
The Chiayi, which will be deployed at the CGA's central base, is 125 meters long, 16.5 meters wide and can travel up to 10,000 nautical miles at a maximum speed of 24 knots, the CGA said.
In terms of its weapons system, it will be equipped with a 2.75-inch rocket launcher, two 20 millimeter cannons, and several water cannons with a range of 120 meters, the CGA said.
The Chiayi is one of four 4,000-ton CGA patrol ships commissioned to CSBC at a total cost of NT$ 11.74 billion (US$392 million), according to Hsieh Ching-chin (謝慶欽), head of the CGA Fleet Branch.