Kidd-class destroyers join missile interception drills: Navy

All four of Taiwan’s Kidd-class destroyers recently took part in a live-fire drill staged in waters off Taiwan that simulated the interception of incoming enemy missiles, according to the Navy on Wednesday.

During the exercise, the four destroyers that are part of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy’s 168th Fleet, fired their MK-45 naval artillery guns and MK-15 Phalanx close-in weapons systems to fend off enemy forces, Navy said in a Facebook post.

The Navy did not disclose the exact time and location for the drill, however, other than that it was staged in recent days.

With a displacement of nearly 9,000 tonnes, the Kidd-class destroyer is the largest warship in the country’s Navy.

Taiwan acquired all four of the destroyers from the U.S. Navy in 2001 after they were decommissioned in the United States and renamed them the Keelung (1801), Suao (1802), Tsoying (1803) and Makung (1805) before they officially entered service in 2006.

The drill was staged weeks ahead of the annual Han Kuang exercises that are set to be held from Sept. 13 to 17.

The Han Kuang exercises, Taiwan’s major war games featuring all military branches, have been held annually since 1984, in the form of live-fire drills and computerized war games, to test the nation’s combat readiness in the face of a possible Chinese invasion.

This year’s tabletop drills were held April 23-30. The live-fire exercises were scheduled to start July 12 and run for five days.

Due to a domestic COVID-19 outbreak that started in mid-May, however, the military decided in mid-June to postpone the live-fire part of the drill to September.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel