Hsun Hai (Swift Sea) Tuo Jiang - missile corvette
On 12 April 2010, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed the existence of a program to develop a stealthy catamaran vessel called the Taiwan Coastal Patrol Vessel. The Navy had a requirement for a 900-ton corvette to replace aging fast-attack missile boats and the eight Knox-class frigates. The ship was to be developed by the Naval Shipbuilding Center in Kaohsiung under the Hsunhai (Swift Sea) program.
The program was first announced publicly in 2009, The Hsunhai program had been killed and resurrected on numerous occasions in the past and reports were a trial balloon by the Navy to generate interest and support for the program. Indeed, on 31 August 2010, it was announced that the 900 ton stealth corvette plan has been put on hold, due to lack of money. Taiwan's legislature approved a TWD24.98 billion (USD823 million) budget in 2011 to fund the construction of between seven and 11 of such corvettes under the Hsun Hai (Swift Sea) program. A fleet of 12 ships was expected as of 2014.
The high-speed corvette, described as a 'carrier-killer' by Taiwanese media, has a maximum speed of 38 kt and a range of 2,000 nautical miles. The 60 meter by 14 meter vessel has a low radar cross section (RCS) design and can carry a crew of 41. Few details on Tuo Jiang 's weapon systems were released, but armament was reported to include the Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) ramjet-powered supersonic anti-ship missile. The HF-3, manufactured by the defense ministry's Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST), is touted as Taiwan's most potent weapon against the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN's) aircraft carrier. Previously revealed models of the corvette showed a primary gun on its foredeck and a close-in weapon system (CIWS) turret towards its aft section.
The Republic of China Navy (RoCN) launched the first of a new class of stealth missile corvettes on 14 March 2014. The 500-tonne twin-hull boat, built by Lung Teh Shipbuilding, was named Tuo Jiang [Tuo River] in a ceremony conducted in Suao, Yilan County. Tuo Jiang will undergo tests and reviews before it is commissioned. The vessel was scheduled to be deployed with the RoCN in the first half of 2015.
Taiwan's defense minister announced that the R.O.C. Navy has entered a new page in self-defense capability as it welcomes the nation's first locally built stealth missile corvette, the Tuo Chiang, 23 December 2014. Speaking during a handover ceremony at a business harbor at northeastern Yilan County, Yen praised the new 500-ton Tuo Chiang twin-hull corvette as the “fastest and most powerful warship in Asia.” He said "The design and the construction of the vessel are all made by Taiwanese, which could serve as a perfect model for the nation's domestic defense industry”.
The Tuo Chiang is the first of possibly eight to 12 vessels to be built locally under the Hsun Hai program. The 500-ton twin-hulled corvette Tuo Jiang cost 2.1 billion Taiwanese dollars ($66.39 million USD) to build. She is armed with the locally developed Hsiung Feng II and Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missiles, a 76-mm gun and Mark 46 torpedoes.
The 2016 program for 11 additional Tou Jiang-class corvette builds, will be ordered in three flights (3 + 3 + 4) with improvements added to each batch. The Flight 1 design features an enclosed mast, which is expected to house a rotating phased-array radar based on the CS/MPQ-90, box-launched TC-2N air defense missiles system with four quad-packed launchers (16 missiles), an enlarged bridge/deckhouse, and up-gunned secondary cannon armament forward of the bridge. The hull will be lengthened and widened to accommodate the increased displacement. Construction was scheduled to start in 2017 with the first batch of three ships.
|618||Tuo Jiang||Lung Teh
|14 Mar 2014||23 Dec 2014|
|Displacement, full||500 tons|
|Length, O/A||60 meters / feet|
|Length, W/L||meters / feet|
|Length, B/P||meters / feet|
|Max Beam||14 meters / feet|
|Draft||meters / feet|
|Height||meters / feet|
|Speed, maximum||38 knots|
|Range||2,000 nautical miles at knots|
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