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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

22 Navy officers disciplined over grounding of missile boat

ROC Central News Agency

08/10/22 21:57:30

By Han Nai-kuo

Taipei, Oct. 22 (CNA) Twenty-two naval officers, including the commander of the Republic of China Navy, have been disciplined over the grounding of the Kuang Hua No. 6 Missile Speedboat off the coast of southern Taiwan in late September, Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min disclosed Wednesday.

Answering questions before the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and National Defense Committee, Chen said that in a review report on the accident, the Ministry of National Defense concluded that human error was the direct cause of the boat's grounding off the coast of Chiayi County while it was taking part in the Han Kuang No. 24 Military Exercise.

As a result, the ministry penalized the 22 naval officers responsible for the accident in accordance with its penal code, he said.

The fast-attack missile boat ran aground Sept. 25 in bad weather. The 14 crewmen on board were rescued shortly after the mishap.

In the following days, rescue workers from the Navy removed the four Hsiung Feng anti-ship missiles, the navigation system and other important equipment from the vessel.

On Oct. 10, a salvage team of the Navy used two giant cranes to pull the 150-ton boat out of shallow waters and towed it to Chiayi County's Budai harbor for a preliminary welding job to repair the vessel before moving it to Kaohsiung harbor in southern Taiwan for an overhaul.

Although the hull of the boat appeared in a satisfactory condition, Navy frogmen who inspected the damage below water said they discovered five holes in the bottom of the vessel.

The missile boat is a prototype designed by the Navy under its Kuang Hua No. 6 Missile Speedboat Plan to phase out the 50-ton Seagull-Class missile boats. It is 34 meters long and 7.6 meters wide, with a top speed of 34 knots.

Under the Kuang Hua No. 6 plan, 30 boats will be built at a cost of about NT$400 million (US$12.29 million) each. The state-run Kaohsiung-based CSBC Corp. Taiwan -- the nation's largest shipbuilder -- began building the boats in November 2007.

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