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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Navy plans to build three more missile corvettes by 2023

ROC Central News Agency

12/16/2020 05:27 PM

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) Taiwan's Navy has decided to build three more of the upgraded version of its Tuo Chiang-class missile corvette by 2023 amid a growing military threat from Beijing.

Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping (張哲平) said during a legislative hearing that the Armed Forces originally planned to build three upgraded Tuo Chiang-class missile corvettes by 2025.

The first one -- the "Ta Chiang" (塔江) -- was launched in a ceremony in Yilan on Tuesday presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

But due to the increasing military threat from China, the military asked the project's main contractor, Lung Teh Shipbuilding, to build the remaining two corvettes on order more quickly and produce more of the ships in a short amount of time, according to Chang.

The shipbuilder has promised that it can deliver another five upgraded missile corvettes by 2023 once the Ta Chiang passes related tests to prove it is combat-ready in 2021, Chang said.

According to the Navy, the upgraded Tuo Chiang-class ships have a maximum speed of 30 knots, displacement of 685 tonnes and an operational range of 1,800 nautical miles.

Tou Chiang vessels have been dubbed by Taiwan's military as "aircraft-carrier killers" as their arsenal includes Hsiung Feng II and III anti-ship missiles and a 76 mm cannon and Sea Sword II missiles.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)

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