[Cover picture: Ministry of National Defense.]
The Ministry of National Defense announced today that it will speed up production of the domestically designed and produced Tuo Chiang class stealth missile corvettes.
Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發) told the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the MND will not wait until the first batch of three ships are completed before starting work on the second batch of eight. Construction of both orders will proceed concurrently beginning around 2 years from now.
The fast and nimble ships, dubbed by media outlets as “aircraft carrier-killers,” are an important part of Taiwan’s asymmetrical defense strategy, the minister said.
The Tuo Chiang class ships are armed with eight Hsiung Feng II, and eight Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles, each of which has a range of around 130km. The vessels also have a 76mm main gun, 12.7mm machine guns, and an MK15 Phalanx weapons system. The navy currently has one of the Tuo Chiang class corvettes in operation after its launch in 2014.
The twin-hulled ships are 60 meters long, 14 meters wide, are capable of traveling at speeds of up to 40 knots (74kph), and have a range of more than 2000km. The Tuo Chiang’s odd angles, flat surfaces, and radar-refractive surface materials give it a low-radar profile.
The naval part of Taiwan’s asymmetric defense strategy sees a larger number of smaller, faster ships deployed from the island-nation’s many harbors and ports, giving a higher likelihood of surviving a first strike from a much larger and more powerful opponent, and the ability to strike back.
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