Military


Jing Chiang-class Fast Attack Missile Craft

131st Patrol SquadronTaiwan's Kuang Hua III [Glorious China] naval modernization program included the acquisition of 12 Ching Chiang-class 580-ton guided missile patrol combatants [the number was evidently later reduced to 11, not 12]. As of mid-1999, five had been launched, but, because of failure by the lead unit to pass sea trials, none had been accepted into service, far behind program schedule. The fire control system (FCS) of the new missile patrol craft RCNS Dang Chiang repeatedly failed acceptance trials in 1999, resulting in Navy's refusal to accept the ship. Built under the Kuang Hua-3 program, Dang Chiang was the first of the Ching Chiang-class patrol craft, construction for which began in September 1997. Only this class prototype carries antiship missiles. The patrol craft RCNS Jin Chiang was launched on 13 May 1999, with delivery expected before the year's end. The patrol ship Chuchiang, the 11th of the Chinchiang-class vessels, was christened in early March 2000. On 21 July 2000, Taiwan commissioned the last four of a dozen Ching Chiang-class patrol craft.

In December 2000 Taiwan's Navy announced plans to replace the Hsiung Feng-II with the Harpoon as the standard anti-ship missile on the Cheng Kung-class frigate. The decision grew from concerns for the higher cost-effectiveness of the new weapon system. Compared with the RGM -84L Harpoon missile, the Hsiung Feng-II was judged inferior in respect to range and maneuverability. The Hsiung Feng-II missiles on board the Cheng Kung-class frigates will be moved to the domestically-built Ching Chiang-class patrol boats, as well as the next-generation missile boats in a pre-production. The Hsiung Feng-II missile had been chosen for the Cheng Kung-class frigate because the US was not willing to sell the Harpoons to Taiwan when the frigates were built.




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