Taiwan begins mass production of home-grown missile corvettes, minelayers



Taiwan has begun mass production of its home-grown Tuo Jiang-class missile corvettes and high-speed minelayers as it seeks to shore up its naval forces amid rising hostility from Beijing.

Dubbed the “aircraft carrier killer”, the small but powerful corvette, which has a displacement of 680 tonnes and a top speed of 45 knots, is a state-of-the-art stealth warship built by Lung Teh Shipbuilding.

A total of three corvettes would be built under the NT$31.6 billion (US$1 billion) Hsun Hai project, the self-ruled island’s navy said.

The warship would be equipped with one of the world’s most technologically advanced computer systems and built partly with high-entropy metal alloys for extra strength and durability, it said. Its stealth technology and low radar cross section makes the ship virtually invisible at sea and even more difficult to detect when operating close to the coast.

Armed with eight subsonic Hsiung Feng-II and eight supersonic Hisung Feng-III anti-ship missile launchers, the corvettes were intended to take over many of the missions now undertaken by larger, less manoeuvrable and more expensive frigates and destroyers, the navy said.

In an actual armed conflict with Beijing, the warships would also boost Taiwan’s ability to counter a much larger and better equipped rival, a concept known as asymmetric warfare.