Taiwan aiming to build 3 corvette class warships by 2025
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, May 14 (CNA) Taiwan plans to construct three corvette class warships by 2025 and move up its schedule for the construction of another eight vessels, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said Monday.
The Navy is hoping to obtain a total of 11 locally built stealth corvettes, called Tuo Jiang, which will be built in two phases over the next few years as Taiwan seeks to improve its asymmetric warfare capabilities amid a growing military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait, Yen said during a legislative hearing.
In the first phase, the tender process for the construction of the first three corvette class warships will be completed by the end of the year and work will begin next year, according to the Navy's Chief of Staff Vice Adm. Lee Chung-hsiao (李宗孝).
The other eight vessels will be built in the second stage, with construction starting in 2019 or 2020, depending on the development of the situation, Lee said.
According to a Navy spokesman, the original plan was to complete construction of the 11 stealth corvettes vessels in three phases by 2030 but the schedule has been moved up and the project will now be carried out in two phases.
Taiwan's first Tuo Jiang warship was built in 2012 by Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. and was commissioned in March 2015.
The vessel has a range of 2,000 nautical miles, is 60.4 meters long and 14 meters wide, and carries a crew of up to 41. It has a maximum speed of 38 knots (70.4 kph) and can carry 16 Hsiung Feng II and Hsiung Feng III anti-ship supersonic missiles, according to the Navy.
(By Matt Yu and Evelyn Kao)
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