Taiwan Sees Role as Arms Supplier for West As Launches New Warship (excerpt)
(Source: Reuters; published Dec. 15, 2020)
By Ann Wang
Taiwan today launched the first production Tuo Chiang-class corvette, a prototype of which is already in operation, which it sees as the symbol of its advanced defense technology hich it hopes will allow it to sell its weapons to Western countries. (MND photo)
SUAO, Taiwan --- Taiwan may become a supplier of weapons to Western democracies, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, praising the island’s ramped up weapons-design ability as she launched an advanced, missile-laden warship and commissioned a new minelayer.

Tsai has made boosting the defence of the Chinese-claimed island a priority in the face of a growing military challenge from Beijing, which has never renounced the use of force to bring democratic Taiwan under its control.

While Taiwan’s air force has benefited from big-ticket items like new and upgraded F-16s, the navy is Tsai’s next focus, with submarines in production and the Tuesday launch of the first of a fleet of highly manoeuvrable stealth corvettes.

The new Tuo Chiang-class corvettes, a prototype of which is already in operation, has been dubbed by Taiwan’s navy the “aircraft carrier killer” due to its complement of anti-ship missiles. It can also carry Sky Sword anti-aircraft missiles.

Speaking in the eastern port city of Suao for the launch of the Ta Chiang, the first mass production ship of the Tuo Chiang-class, Tsai said the vessel and the new minelayer would deter attacks and showcased Taiwan’s research and development ability. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.


First Taiwan-Made Tuo Chiang-Class Guided-Missile Corvette Launched
(Source: Taiwan News; posted Dec. 15, 2020)
By Keoni Everington
TAIPEI --- Taiwan's Navy on Tuesday (Dec. 15) launched its first heavily armed corvette, nicknamed the "aircraft carrier killer" due to its armament of subsonic and supersonic missiles.

During a ceremony at Lungteh Shipyard in Yilan's Su-ao Township on Tuesday, President Tsai Ing-wen presided over the launch of Taiwan's first domestically built Tuo Chiang-class guided-missile corvette. Not to be confused with the Anping-class offshore patrol vessel, the first of which was launched for the Coast Guard Administration on Friday (Dec. 11), the Navy version is much more heavily armed, as it is designed for combat with Chinese warships.

The most obvious difference between the Anping-class patrol boats and the Tuo Chiang-class ships is the fact that the latter comes equipped with an OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun on its forward deck. The Tuo Chiang-class corvettes come fully loaded with Sea Sword II anti-aircraft missiles, eight subsonic Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) anti-ship missiles, eight supersonic Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) medium-range missiles, one Phalanx CIWS, two 12.7 mm Browning M2HB machine guns, and two Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes.

The Anping-class boats are mainly meant for law enforcement purposes and are lightly armed with a water cannon, 20 mm cannon, and high explosive rockets. However, in the event of a war, these ships can also be upgraded to carry the HF-2 and HF-3 missile systems.

Both ships, which are built by the Kaohsiung-based Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Group, feature a modern catamaran design, which provides better stability, maneuverability, less draft, greater speed, and superior fuel efficiency. The Tuo Chiang-class corvettes have a length of 60.4 meters, displacement of 685 tons, a maximum operational range of 1,800 miles, and a top speed of 43 knots, according to Lungteh Shipbuilding.

The name Tuo Chiang is derived from the Tawa River in Taitung County. The river basin is home to the Paiwan Indigenous people, who have hunted in the area since ancient times and are known for their fearlessness and bravery in war, according to the Navy Command.

The first Tuo Chiang-class ship will officially be delivered to the Navy in July 2021.


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